Survey: New Yorkers favor making ‘alcohol-to-go’ permanent post-pandemic

Food and Drink

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Leaders with the New York Restaurant Association say a new survey shows a majority of New Yorkers want the alcohol take-out and delivery rule for restaurants to stay in effect, even after the pandemic ends.

Right now, that rule is set to expire on June 5. It’s already been extended several times.

The statewide poll involved 700 people and was done between May 14 and May 20.

The results showed 78% of New Yorkers favor permanently allowing alcoholic beverages to be purchased with takeout or delivery orders from restaurants.

Leaders with the New York Restaurant Association say the industry needs stability, and “alcohol-to-go” will help encourage a strong recovery.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, struggling restaurants were able to boost sales and keep doors open through the ability of selling alcoholic beverages with their orders,” said Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association. “The same relief that was once needed at the height of the pandemic is still needed now. The restaurant industry needs stability now more than ever, and by making ‘alcohol-to-go’ permanent we can encourage a strong recovery. It’s popular with operators and customers alike. The numbers don’t lie.”

Here are some key findings from the survey:

  • The regional breakdown of those who support alcohol-to-go remains strong throughout the state. 
    • In New York City, 81% of respondents are in favor
    • On Long Island, 79% of respondents are in favor
    • In Upstate New York, 72% of respondents are in favor
    • In the New York City suburbs (Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties), 83% of respondents are in favor
  • Overall, 96% of New Yorkers who have purchased alcohol-to-go with takeout or a food delivery say they are in strong support of the executive order becoming permanent. Of those respondents, they’ve ordered alcohol-to-go an average of nearly 13 times in the last year, and 71% have ordered an alcoholic beverage to go in the last month.
  • New Yorkers also recognize the role restaurants play in communities — 91% believe restaurants are an important part of our community’s character and local economy, and helping our restaurant industry should be a high priority for state leaders.

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