British Columbians are now able to order a piña colada or mojito from their favourite restaurants and have it delivered without leaving the comfort of their own home.
Starting Thursday, the provincial government is food- and liquor-primary licensees to package and sell single-serving, pre-mixed drinks for takeout with the purchase of a meal.
The cocktails-to-go decision comes in the wake of B.C. permanently authorizing licensees to sell and deliver packaged liquor products for off-site consumption back in March.
The government says the decision to give the change a shot comes in response to industry feedback and will not only give consumers more options but also provide an additional revenue stream for businesses.
Another factor in authorizing cocktails-to-go was that Ontario and Alberta have permitted them since December 2020 and have not noted any public safety issues.
“We’re continuing to open up new revenue stream opportunities to help our hospitality sector rebuild in the wake of the pandemic,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “At the same time, appropriate safeguards will be in place to protect public safety and prevent minors’ access to liquor.”
The industry is buzzing at the new regulations and for restaurants, some feel that the option for consumers buying spirits as a single drink can be a more desirable at times than buying a whole bottle.
“This is another sensible shot in the arm for us as we continue to see sustained interest in delivery and takeout, even as more people are becoming comfortable with dining in once again,” said Kelly Gordon, partner with Romer’s Burgers.
The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will also be looking to consult further with the industry on whether to expand the authorization to include single servings of beverages that are not mixed, such as neat spirits, wine, draught beer and other beverages available on tap.
The government emphasizes that any pre-mixed single servings for takeout will need to be packaged in a way that can be transported lawfully. Restaurants and pubs will be required to have a label that states the type and amount of alcohol the drink contains while listing all other ingredients.
Starting on July 15, British Columbia will also allow the delivery of non-medical marijuana products from licensed cannabis retailers to consumers’ doors.