How a new proposal could benefit Wisconsin restaurants, bars

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Some Wisconsin dining establishments and bars might have the ability to offer carry-out mixed drinks and red wine under a brand-new proposition from state Republican legislators.

The costs from State Rep. David Steffen, (R) fourth Assembly District, and State Sen. Mary Felzkowski, (R) 12th Senate District, would permit facilities with a Class B alcohol license to offer to-go cocktails and red wine by the glass in a container with a tamper apparent seal, like a growler.

“The restaurants and bars that I’m speaking with are really, really struggling,” Steffen stated. “If we want to retain them as an important part of our economy, our community, our culture here in Wisconsin, we can’t let the speed of government be involved in this one. We need to move as quickly as possible.”

Tim Kuehn, owner of Margarita’s of Green Bay, promoted the proposition.

Kuehn stated sales at Margarita’s are down about 25 percent as an outcome of the pandemic.

Takeout orders, on the other hand, are on the increase, now representing 25 percent of company. Prior to the pandemic, Kuehn stated takeout just comprised about 1 percent of sales.

Due to the boost in need for carry-out meals, Kuehn stated to-go margaritas would increase sales and assist lessen the pandemic’s monetary influence on the facility.

“Seventy-percent of our sales are food and 30 percent are liquor,” Kuehn stated. “We look at it that we’d hopefully be able to make our to-go orders 30 percent larger than they are now.”

Kuehn stated the containers would be sealed internal. A staff member would inspect consumer’s I.D. prior to providing the to-go beverage.

The Pub League of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Dining establishment Association support the “Cocktails-to-go” costs.

Since October 1, the Wisconsin Dining establishment Association approximates one in every 10 dining establishments have actually completely closed throughout the state.

Kristine Hillmer, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Dining establishment Association, stated the hope is this proposition might assist dining establishments keep the doors open while operators await an end to capability constraints and the start of extensive vaccine circulation.

“At a restaurant or a bar, the profit margin on their sales is actually in the alcohol sales. It’s not as much in the food,” Hillmer stated. “So that’s a lot of the one thing they’re missing as they try to survive the pandemic and survive the economic outcome of this, is that without those alcohol sales, it’s just one less thing that they can take advantage of. This gives them that option.”

More than 30 states in the U.S. currently permit to-go mixed drinks and glasses of red wine.

Kuehn stated it’s time Wisconsin offers it a shot.

“I think this is a good opportunity to roll it out and see if we can do it safely,” Kuehn stated. “Let’s see how it works.”

Steffen stated he’s enthusiastic the costs will be voted on in the Assembly in January. He anticipates bipartisan and bicameral assistance.

Hillmer stated the WRA is seeking to bring another proposition to the table that would permit alcohol shipment for companies that currently provide food. She stated that costs is anticipated to be advanced quickly.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.