Texas Loves Liquor To-Go
It’s official! Beer, wine, and mixed drinks will continue to be allowed in to-go and delivery orders in the state of Texas. On May 12, 2021 Governor Greg Abbot signed House Bill 1024 immediately permitting the sale of alcohol in take-out orders to aid local restaurants amidst the havoc created by COVID-19. To utilize this exciting law, restaurants must have the correct permitting in place to meet TABC requirements. It’s important to remember that Texans must continue to abide by open container laws when driving. If in a motor vehicle, alcoholic beverages must be sealed in a way that shows if they have been opened.
To be able to offer alcohol pickup or delivery to customers, restaurants must hold a Mixed Beverage Permit and a Food and Beverage Certificate. Alternatively, the restaurant could hold a Private Club Registration Permit along with a Food and Beverage Certificate. Additionally, alcohol served to-go must be paired with an order of food made at the restaurant, but no specific food-to-alcohol ratio is required. In the past restaurants were unable to sell alcohol to-go, so at the start of the pandemic many lost a vital source of revenue and hundreds of thousands of service workers were laid off. Around March 2020 was the first time businesses served alcohol to customers dining outside of the physical location after Abbot signed an emergency waiver, which greatly benefitted the industry. All in all, it seems that Texans enjoyed the opportunity to take their alcohol to-go so much that Governor Abbott decided to make it a permanent endeavor.
Blaskovich, S. (2021, May 13). Alcohol to-go is in Texas to stay. The Dallas Morning News, pp. 1B–2B.
Sparber, S. (2021, May 12). Texas law now allows alcohol to go from restaurants after Gov. Greg Abbott signs bill. The Texas Tribune. https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/12/texas-alcohol-to-go-greg-abbott/.
SpringHappenings.com. (2021, May 14). Gov. Abbott Signs Bill Making Alcohol To-Go Permanent in Texas. Spring Happenings. https://www.springhappenings.com/gov-abbott-signs-bill-making-alcohol-to-go-permanent-in-texas/.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. (n.d.). INDUSTRY NOTICE: House Bill 1024 Pickup and Delivery of Alcoholic Beverages for Off-Premises Consumption. TABC. https://www.tabc.texas.gov/news/articles/industry-notice-house-bill-1024-pickup-delivery-of-alcoholic-beverages-for-off-premises-consumption-2021/.