Ontario has announced that it will make the sale of alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders legal on a permanent basis in an effort to further support the foodservice and hospitality industries.
The province had previously approved the measure on a temporary basis earlier in 2020 to support businesses severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. That had been set to end at the conclusion of the year, but licensed bars and restaurants will now be able to continue selling booze with food.
“Ontario’s vibrant hospitality sector and its workers have been hard hit by COVID-19 in every community across our province,” said Attorney General Doug Downey. “We’re building on the actions we took early in the pandemic to support local restaurants, bars and other businesses by providing permanent help to workers and small businesses as they face these ongoing challenges.”
A provincial government release notes that additional permanent reforms for the hospitality sector will allow:
- alcohol service on docked boats by operators with a liquor sales licence
- reduced minimum pricing of spirits consumed on-site, to align with the reduced pricing introduced for takeout and delivery orders
- the length of time for temporary patio extensions to be set out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
- for a requirement that ensures third parties delivering from licensed restaurants and bars have a delivery licence
The release adds that the province is also supporting businesses by:
- removing restrictive rules to allow for the delivery of alcoholic beverages in food boxes and meal kits
- allowing eligible alcohol manufacturers to deliver their own products and charge a delivery fee
- allowing restaurants and bars to offer mixed cocktails and growlers as part of a takeout or delivery order
- permitting eligible manufacturers to sell spirits and 100 per cent Ontario wine at farmers markets
“Local restaurants and bars are essential to community life in this province,” said Attorney General Downey. “We are taking actions to provide more opportunities for Ontarians to directly support their local communities when and how public health directives permit.”