On Thursday, May 13, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will permanently allow bars and restaurants to sell beer, wine, and mixed cocktails for delivery and takeout. The bill is set to go into effect on July 1, but there will be some caveats.
In order to be eligible for the sale of alcohol to-go, Senate Bill 148 establishes that restaurants will have to have a dining area of at least 2,500-square feet and have a minimum capacity of 150 people, and 51% of its revenue will have to come from food and non-alcoholic beverages. In addition, to-go drinks will have to be no larger than 32 ounces, cannot be factory sealed, and delivery orders of alcohol will also have to include food.
The legislation signed today solidifies what was a temporary executive order put forth by DeSantis earlier last year allowing restaurants and bars to sell alcoholic beverages to-go in order to offer some economic relief in light of the temporary closures caused by COVID-19. Florida is now the 11th state to make to-go alcohol permanent in the country.
“It’s probably the most difficult year that the restaurant industry has had to face, certainly in recent times,” DeSantis said during a press conference. “But now this industry is really thriving in Florida. We have people that will move to Florida and start new restaurants because they know they have an environment that they can do very well.”
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