(ATHENS) – Governor Brian Kemp signed SB 236 | Cocktails To-Go into law. This was a top priority for the Georgia Restaurant Association to help provide additional support to Georgia’s restaurants in recovery after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The GRA is thrilled that Governor Kemp has signed this legislation,” said GRA President + CEO Karen Bremer. “Not only will this create additional sales avenues for the hardest hit sector of the restaurant industry (independent full-service restaurants), it will also provide our guests with the ability to include our delicious and unique craft cocktails with their meal orders to enjoy at home. As the restaurant industry has had to quickly pivot to stay in business and meet consumer demand, takeout and curbside pickup have become wonderful options for our guests to support their favorite restaurant and dine at home.”
BEFORE YOU ARE ABLE TO OFFER THIS TO YOUR GUESTS, you must consult with your local government to ensure that you are allowed to engage in cocktails to-go sales. Local governments still have the option to not allow this. The GRA will be sending out communications to all counties and municipalities requesting that they should not prohibit restaurants from participating in these types of sales.
How Do Restaurants comply with this new law?
· Confirm with your local county and/or municipal government if this type of sale has been disallowed;
· Must have a valid food service permit to engage in sales;
· Cocktails must be in a sealed, tamper evident container with no openings or straw holes with a label that identifies the business that made the cocktail;
· Cocktails or “mixed drinks” is combining distilled spirits with non-alcoholic liquid that must be prepared the same day by an employee of the licensee and has no more than 3 ounces of distilled spirits; No shots, packages of distilled spirits, pre-mixed cocktails in a can, etc. can be sold for off-premise consumption by restaurants under this law;
· Must be sold with accompanying food order; No more than 2 mixed drinks per entrée ordered can be sold to a person over 21 years of age; Must include a receipt/timestamp that includes the date and the time of purchase;
· Must be sold for personal use and picked up by the same person who purchased the order; NOT for resale, delivery service, or for a third-party agent;
· Must place order in locked glove compartment, locked trunk, or behind the last upright seat of the motor vehicle.
The GRA is working with the Georgia Department of Revenue to host a Q&A webinar to answer any questions you may have.
From all of us at the GRA – many thanks for the continued support in helping us get SB 236 passed and signed into law. We look forward to continuing to serve you in making Georgia better for restaurants and restaurants better for Georgia.