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Manitoba to allow sale of alcohol for takeout and delivery services


March 31, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

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Winnipeg – The Manitoba government will authorize the sale of liquor with take out and delivery meal service by licensed establishments.

“We have heard from restaurant owners who have expressed a strong interest in selling wine, beer and single-serve beverages through food take out or delivery service, and had already started the process of bringing in necessary changes,” Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton announced on March 30 in a news release.  “These businesses have been significantly impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and by allowing this flexibility now, restaurants will be able to offer an additional service to customers when it is needed most.”

The Manitoba government has issued a new public health order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 that prohibits all restaurants and other commercial facilities from serving food to customers in their premises.  However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout.

Enabling licensed establishments to sell liquor with take out and delivery will provide greater opportunities and flexibility for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19, and more choice and convenience for consumers coping with the pandemic at home, the minister said.

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Liquor delivery and take out orders would be linked to meal orders and offered by licensed establishments whose primary business is food, such as restaurants.  Liquor pricing will be the same as in-dining service menu prices, which will link wine and beer retail to the licensees’ meal service.

Restaurants Canada applauded Manitoba for providing restaurants with a lifeline to survive the COVID-19 crisis by allowing alcohol to be sold with takeout and delivery meal orders.

“This is a bit of good news for an industry that has been decimated by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Restaurants Canada director Scot McTaggart. “Restaurants are struggling to survive, and this will give operators a new revenue source when it is needed most.”Restaurants Canada estimates that between 16,000 and 20,000 employees in Manitoba’s foodservice sector are already out of work. The national association expects widespread restaurant closures will cost the province’s economy $500 million this spring.“On behalf of all licensed establishments, I want to thank Premier Pallister and Minister Wharton for getting this done,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada vice-president for Central Canada. “They understand that physical distancing restrictions, while necessary, have been devastating for our industry and they have been working hard to lessen the impact.”

For more information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.