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How your alcohol program can be top of mind for consumers


The alcohol to-go business became a critical lifeline for an untold number of restaurants during the pandemic. So critical, in fact, big money was thrown at the business in 2020 and 2021. Uber, for instance, bought Drizly for $1.1 billion in 2021, while Square added a to-go alcohol delivery feature and DoorDash expanded its alcohol delivery to dozens of states that same year.

Now, with pandemic-related restrictions distant in the rearview mirror, off-premises alcohol very much remains a boon for many concepts. Indeed, 20 states and Washington, DC, have since made emergency pandemic regulations allowing alcohol to-go permanent. Another 14 allow it on a long-term, but temporary basis (New York, for example, legalized to-go cocktails through 2025). According to a new report from the National Restaurant Association titled “On the Menu: Trends in on- and off-premises beverage alcohol,” this to-go shift is the most significant change to state alcohol laws since the end of the Prohibition in 1933.

And, as the association notes, it’s here to stay, driven by continued consumer demand for such options. Here are some key takeaways from the report.

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