“Purchase of a food item which is consistent with the food availability requirement of the license under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law” shall mean that for each patron in a seated party, an item of food must be purchased at the same time as the purchase of the initial alcoholic beverage(s).
However, one or more shareable food item(s) may be purchased, so long as it/they would sufficiently serve the number of people in the party and each item would individually meet the food standard below.
“A food item which is consistent with the food availability requirement of the license under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law” shall mean:
For manufacturers with on-premises service privileges: sandwiches, soups or other such foods, whether fresh, processed, pre-cooked or frozen; and/or food items intended to compliment the tasting of alcoholic beverages, which shall mean a diversified selection of food that is ordinarily consumed without the use of tableware and can be conveniently consumed, including but not limited to: cheese, fruits, vegetables, chocolates, breads, mustards and crackers.
According to the SLA, the Executive Order does not affect the ability of a manufacturer with off-premises privileges to sell any product to go to a patron at the licensed premises in a sealed original container without the accompaniment of a food item.
Clearly, the Governor’s Executive Order will not affect the ability of manufacturers to continue sales for off-premises consumption. However, sales for on-premises consumption will be significantly impacted. The order mandates that the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption must be accompanied by a food item. Manufacturers having on-premises privileges must adhere to this requirement by ensuring that alcohol sales (for on-premises consumption) are accompanied by a food item consistent with the requirements of their licenses (e.g., sandwiches, soups, cheese, fruits, vegetables, chocolates, breads, mustards and crackers). The Executive Order requires that a food item accompany the alcoholic beverage.
What remains unclear is how the Executive Order impacts tastings held within on-premises tasting rooms. The Executive Order appears to be targeted, at least in part, at limiting sales at customer bars. Further guidance is necessary in order to fully understand how the Executive Order will impact tasting room operations. In the meantime, manufacturers with on-premises privileges should take steps to comply with the Executive Order to avoid potential penalties. These steps should include ensuring that tasting room alcohol sales are accompanied by food items.
Additional guidance will be provided as it becomes available.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Zachary R. Benjamin.