Media Mentions

Will Alcohol To-Go Have a Place for Restaurants After COVID?, FSR Magazine

Will Alcohol To-Go Have a Place for Restaurants After COVID?, FSR Magazine

There are a lot of moving parts to still consider.

Partner Jennifer Thomas discusses the potential liability restaurants face and if that will affect whether restaurants will remain selling to-go alcoholic beverages following COVID-19 in the September issue of FSR Magazine.

“There’s a number of potential liability issues,” explains Thomas. “There’s dram shop liability [overserving], liability related to third-party delivery. In addition to making sure that the restaurant is in compliance with state law, you’ve also got to consider different insurance liability.”

She further explains that after accounting for potential liability issues restaurants need to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether they should keep serving alcohol to-go.

“If somebody takes a margarita cocktail kit and drinks all four of them and then gets in their car and drives into somebody else, those people are going to come after the restaurant,” says Thomas. “So, I think the restaurateurs need to consider their insurance coverage, their general liability policies, and whether or not this type of service is going to be included in their insurance policies.”

Additionally, restaurants with high employee turnover may want to reconsider, as new staff may not be as up to speed with the proper procedures for selling libations to-go. Checking IDs, documenting the transactions, and remaining in compliance with the most up-to-date orders are all necessary measures. Thomas also mentioned that as for the future of alcoholic drinks to-go, she isn’t sure restaurants will be offering the service down the road.

“I think we’re going to see less of it,” says Thomas. “I don’t think anyone wants to take on that type of liability. We’re going to have to wait and see to find out what the consequences are. Are people behaving?”

Read the full article.