Survey: Michigan Consumers Say Yes to Take-out Cocktails

A majority of Michigan adults support a proposal that would allow customers to purchase cocktails or mixed drinks made with distilled spirits with their restaurant takeout and delivery food orders, according to a new survey released by the Lansing-based Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, which represents more than 5,000 food service and lodging establishments in the state.
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Most Michigan adults support a proposal that would allow restaurants to offer alcoholic beverages as part of take out and food delivery. // Stock photo

A majority of Michigan adults support a proposal that would allow customers to purchase cocktails or mixed drinks made with distilled spirits with their restaurant takeout and delivery food orders, according to a new survey released by the Lansing-based Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, which represents more than 5,000 food service and lodging establishments in the state.

The survey, which was conducted by the National Restaurant Association, showed 78 percent of Michigan adults favor liquor to go from restaurants, with the highest support from Millennials ages 24 to 39 (87 percent) and Gen X ages 40 to 55 (83 percent). Urban and suburban residents support the concept with 86 percent and 78 percent in favor, respectively. More than 70 percent of rural residents also support the proposal.

Digging deeper into the data, of the 78 percent in favor of liquor to go, 34 percent are strongly in favor while 8 percent are strongly opposed to the idea. Men and women were similarly in favor with 79 percent and 76 percent, respectively.

“The indefinite closure of Michigan’s economy in the majority of the state has had a crippling effect on restaurateurs with many being forced to permanently close without incoming customer revenue,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the MRLA. “Enabling restaurants to sell cocktails and spirits with takeout and delivery will incentivize customers to patronize local restaurants, thereby generating additional sales to help keep doors open and more employees on payroll.”

There currently are proposed bills in the Michigan House and Senate that would allow for food service or retail food establishments to fill and sell qualified containers with beer, wine, mixed spirit drink, or spirits for off-premise consumption provided the business abides by all Michigan Liquor Control Commission regulations. The drinks must be sold in a qualified container marked with a label stating “Contains Alcohol. Must be delivered to a person 21 years of age or older.” The qualified container must be for off-premise consumption with a liquid capacity that does not exceed one gallon.

Beer and wine currently are permitted for sale for off-premise consumption. The bills would extend sales to include mixed cocktails and liquor. According to information obtained from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, more than 30 states already are operating with some form of alcohol carryout and delivery from on-premise establishments like restaurants.

Both House Bill No. 5781 and Senate Bill No. 939, if passed, would allow municipalities to designate social districts where restaurant customers can consume purchased alcoholic beverages outside the four walls of the business.

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