Restaurant owners in Michigan are ready to propose a toast to lawmakers for legalizing carryout cocktails as a way to help boost sales and profits during the pandemic.
The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday approved a bill that allows customers to buy cocktails from restaurants and bars for pickup or delivery. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signaled that she will sign the bill into law.
Unopened beer and wine can already be sold to go in Michigan, but restaurants that offer cocktails, known for reaping high profit margins, have been clamoring for the state’s rules to be loosened as their business continues to suffer during the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re very excited about [the bill] passing,” Lisa Walters, the manager of Mootz Pizzeria and Bar in Detroit, told the Detroit Free Press. She said she welcomes “any option we can give the customers to enjoy life without being scared to go into a restaurant right now.”
Mootz reopened its dine-in service this week and has offered beer and wine for takeout since the pandemic began. As a safety measure, they’re looking into providing cocktails in self-sealing cups, but Walters said it will be about a month before they begin offering drinks-to-go.
“We kind of want to gauge it,” she said in the Free Press interview. “It hasn’t been super-popular for just beer and wine. We want to gauge how it’s received by customers first before offering everything.”