As you are aware, we are going through exceptionally difficult times now that many of us have never faced. Local, state and federal governments are attempting to ease the burden on many affected industries. To that end, as you may have heard, Tennessee Governor Lee has issued Executive Order 17 that primarily deals with Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission licensed restaurants and limited service restaurants and is effective beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. (See attached.) This executive order prohibits restaurants, bars, etc from opening to the general public for on-site drinking and eating. However, in an effort to relieve some financial burdens, this order also allows TABC licensed restaurants and limited service restaurants to remain open to sell food and to sell alcoholic beverages and bottles of wine for off premise consumption curbside, pickup, and by delivery.
Certain restrictions do apply:
1. Alcohol, wine and beer may be offered and sold for pickup, carry-out and through delivery by these licensed establishments. Alcohol, wine and beer may be offered for off-premise consumption ONLY in conjunction with the purchase of food.
2. If offered by the drink, the container must have a secure lid or cap designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap (such as a coffee cup with lid).
3. Spirits by the bottle may not be sold; however, wine by the bottle in conjunction with a food purchase is allowed.
4. Any employee providing or delivering the alcoholic beverage must visually inspect the person’s identification to insure that the purchaser is 21 years of age. To achieve social distancing practices, you may have the customer take a picture of their id and send it to the delivery employee’s phone.
5. The employee delivering the alcohol does not need a server permit at this time, but must be 21 years of age and have a valid driver’s license.
6. The restaurant must post in a conspicuous place the following:
“No driver shall consume any alcohol beverage or beer or possess an open container of alcoholic beverage or beer while operating a motor vehicle in this state.”
I would suggesting typing the warning on a sheet of paper and handing it to the customer at the time of delivery and verbally adviseof this warning.
7. Hours for the sale of alcohol and food shall comply with normal hours of sale for alcohol by your restaurants.
8. Of course, sales of alcohol to minors and/or to visibly intoxicated individuals is strictly prohibited and shall be strictly enforced.
This Executive Order also allows for the delivery of beer. However, be advised that local beer boards may be implementing their own clarifications and restrictions. For example, both the Nashville beer board and the Memphis beer board has taken action to allow restaurants to deliver and sell beer for off-premise consumption. But, whereas the Executive Order expires (at this time on April 6, 2020), the Nashville Beer Board’s action expires thirty days (30) days beginning on March 19, 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact me. Thank you.