Last week, State Senator Brian Kelsey (Germantown) filed legislation that would allow Tennessee restaurants to continue to sell drinks-to-go over the next three years. This legislation is vital for Tennessee’s hospitality industry, which is the state’s largest employer and taxpayer industry. Cocktails-to-go have been a vital lifeline for Tennessee’s hospitality businesses over the last several months. Cocktails-to-go are now permitted in more than 30 states, two states have already made the measure permanent, and 13 other states are looking to extend or make permanent cocktails-to-go legislation.
For now, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued an Executive Order that allows restaurants to sell drinks-to-go with a food order through the end of this month. Whether Senator Kelsey’s proposed legislation will pass into law is currently unknown, but we in the industry are hopeful that the legislature takes action to extend this crucial lifeline to help keep our hospitality industry afloat while we work through the pandemic together.
If you have any questions regarding how to comply with the drinks-to-go executive order, please contact the Alcoholic Beverage Law team at Ortale Kelley.