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B.C. permanently approves takeout, delivery liquor service from restaurants

Click to play video: 'B.C. government makes wholesale liquor pricing access permanent for bars and restaurants' B.C. government makes wholesale liquor pricing access permanent for bars and restaurants
The B.C. government has made permanent access to wholesale liquor prices for bars and restaurants. That long-called-for change was first granted temporarily last year. Aaron McArthur reports – Feb 23, 2021

British Columbians who have been enjoying takeout beer, wine and liquor in recent months will be able to take advantage of the service permanently, thanks to new provincial regulation changes.

It comes after a recommendation from Restaurants Canada, an organization that advocates for the foodservice industry.

Read more: This poster shows how a B.C. pub trivia night turned into a COVID-19 superspreader event

Last year the rules were temporarily changed to allow restaurants to sell liquor with food orders for pickup and delivery.

Many restaurants pivoted to offer off-site “happy hour” incentives for customers through delivery apps like Uber Eats, Skip The Dishes, and DoorDash.

Read more: At-cost delivery app touted as lifeline for Vancouver’s restaurants amid COVID-19 restrictions

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Some even offered “make your own margaritas” as a way to lessen the pandemic’s blow to their bottom line.

Although the financial boost to business wasn’t enough for many local restaurants, some of whom were forced to close.

On Friday the province announced B.C’s Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation had been permanently changed.

Click to play video: 'New COVID-19 safety restrictions for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in B.C.' New COVID-19 safety restrictions for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in B.C.
New COVID-19 safety restrictions for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in B.C – Mar 11, 2021

BC Restaurant and Food Services Association president Ian Tostenson said the initiative has been a game-changer for an industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic.

“We found that people have really liked the convenience to be able to order a bottle of B.C. wine or whatever it is with their meals, so making it permanent is great news for the business,” Tostenson said.

Although he applauded the move, Tostenson said the industry is not out of the woods.

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Tostenson predicts by the end of the pandemic the industry will have lost approximately $3 billion in sales and 30 per cent of businesses.

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