On May 13, 2021, Governor DeSantis signed a bill into law that made permanent the emergency relief order that permitted restaurants to include alcoholic beverages with take-out meals. During the 2021 legislative session, CS/SB 148 was introduced by Senator Bradley and the Regulated Industries Committee specifically to address the continued ability for restaurants to include alcoholic beverages in to-go orders. The law allows an establishment to sell and deliver alcoholic beverage drinks prepared and sealed by an establishment with a “special restaurant license” for off-premises consumption. A “special restaurant license” requires that at least 51 percent of gross food and beverage revenue must be derived from the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages during the first 60-day operating period and each 12-month operating period thereafter. It also allows for manufacture-sealed beer, wine and liquor and transported in a bag. The sale of to-go drinks must be cut off, however, when food services end for the night or at midnight, whichever occurs first.
As the stay-at-home orders related to COVID-19 pandemic are being lifted, restaurants and other food and beverage operations must consider what measures to take to safely and efficiently operate in the new world that has forever been changed by COVID-19. The U.S.