The COVID-19 pandemic has caused drastic changes to a number of industries, and the restaurant industry is no exception.

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Restaurants have had to completely pivot their business models in order to survive, let alone thrive in, the pandemic. They've had to develop take-out procedures in a matter of days, not only for food, but for alcohol sales, as well.

As it turns out, however, liquor stores across the Capital Region aren't happy that these procedures are still in place, and are joining together to act on it.

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A Fight is Brewing Between Liquor Stores and Restaurants

According to a report from the website Gothamist, Empire State liquor store owners are banding together ahead of the next legislative session in Albany, in an attempt to fight legislation that would continue to allow the purchase of "alcohol to-go" at restaurants.

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In the minds of liquor stores, the restaurant industry providing alcohol with their meals will cost them more money than it will make the restaurant industry, and they're willing to fight it to the end.

That being said, the report also claims that liquor stores are willing to negotiate, and find a solution that will benefit restaurants, their stores, and the state of New York as a whole.


About the Financial Impact of Alcohol Consumption During COVID-19

A study done by Hepatology, as published by Massachusetts General Hospital, reports that excessive or "binge" drinking increased during the pandemic by 21%. Considering this percentage is only measuring the amount of times people drank excessively, one can surmise that the amount of casual drinking increased exponentially.

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With more drinking, comes more trips to the liquor store, and a higher profit margin for those running the stores. For the large "have a drink with dinner" crowd, however, being able to purchase margaritas with your fajita dinner had a huge impact on the profitability of liquor stores, which is what caused this issue to sprout up.

From my perspective, I think there are significant benefits to providing "alcohol-to-go" at restaurants, but, if there was a way to include local liquor stores in the deal, there may be more benefits for everyone in the Capital Region community.

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