At the beginning of the pandemic, Connecticut began allowing restaurants to sell to-go liquor with their food takeout and deliveries. While many restaurant owners took devastating blows in 2020 many owners found relief because of the program. Due to the positive economic impact it has had, Connecticut has decided to extend alcohol to-go for another three years. Now you might be wondering how this can affect your liquor store and you’re right to. Liquor to-go was a great system to keep liquor stores going during the pandemic. However, it can also have a stronger impact on liquor store sales long term.
Early in June, the state legislature made the decision to allow restaurants to continue selling drinks to-go until 2024. That is as long as they are accompanied by food. This gives restaurants hit especially hard during the pandemic a lifeline to get their day-to-day back to normal. While much has returned to the way it was before Covid-19 first hit, there will be many still recovering for some time.
What It Means For Liquor Stores
What this means for liquor stores is fairly simple, more competition. While you might not have thought of the restaurant next door as your competition in a pre-pandemic world, it now has more of an impact. Alcohol to-go at restaurants can only be sold during regular liquor store hours. So next time a customer is in the mood for a drink and something to eat at home, they can just order everything in one place instead of having to order their food and alcohol separately. The impact might be small depending on your location, but a factor of any size can have a negative effect on your net sales.
The best way to handle more competition is to take your business to innovate where your business needs help. Dozens of restaurants use third-party integration apps to get more takeout and delivery orders. This is a helpful tool but many apps take a considerable portion of the profits. The best way to get an advantage on your local restaurants is to start selling online. With CobaltConnect you can create your very own website capable of taking online orders in a matter of days. Set the parameters for local delivery or pick up depending on your preferences. What customers love most about liquor to-go is the convenience, so make your business cater to their needs even better.
Several other states have also extended their alcohol to-go sales timeline while others are actually discussing making the change permanent. Our eCommerce integration is industry-tested and easy to set up. Now is the time to start developing your site and taking online orders! Our skilled team is ready to assist you and answer any questions you might have.