Business and Operations
N.L. provides lifeline to bars and restaurants with liquor policy changes
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
St. John’s – Restaurants Canada is applauding the Newfoundland and Labrador government for helping bars and restaurants survive the COVID-19 crisis with a wholesale liquor pricing discount and other critically needed liquor policy changes.
A number of the liquor policy changes announced respond to longstanding requests from Restaurants Canada, which were listed in the national association’s 2019 Raise the Bar report. Most notably, the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation has been approved to provide licensees with a five per cent discount on wines, spirits and ready-to-drink beverages. Licensed establishments will also benefit from the following liquor policy changes:
Effective immediately, liquor license fees will be waived for the 2020-21 fiscal year, and any fees already paid will be refunded.
- Legislation will be brought forward to allow for the temporary direct sale of alcohol to customers by restaurants and other licensed establishments that sell prepared meals for takeout/curbside pick-up and delivery.
- The NLC will work with the licensee community to return general list product in an effort to help with working capital.
- The NLC is also temporarily waiving warehousing service fees for microbrewers with annual production of 1,000 hectolitres or less for those who use the NLC’s distribution network.
- Government has approved an increase in product commission discounts for craft breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries producing 1,000 hectolitres or less to 55 per cent for non-NLC distributed products.
- Government has also approved a temporary regulatory change to permit ferment-on premise operations (U-Brew) to bottle beverages for their customers, for those that started batches of wine or beer prior to the COVID-19 health restrictions.
The NLC will further support businesses through its distribution and marketing capabilities by listing products of local microbreweries not already supported in this way.