Struggling bars and restaurants could be in line for some help under a proposed bill that would limit delivery fees when they order wine and spirits.
The measure, proposed by Sen. James Skoufis, comes as taverns and restaurants are facing continued challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic. The industry has been forced to shed workers, restrict its hours and some businesses have closed amid the crisis.
Skoufis' proposal tackles the wholesale delivery cost of wine and spirits for restaurants that have been steadily increasing. The measure would bar wholeslaes from charging fees on any order of more than $200. A set fee of $7.50 would be authorized for any order less than $200 while also creating a customer fee transparency program, requiring a detailed description of what's being charged.
The proposed bill would be coupled with "primary source" legislation that is being carried by Sen. Anna Kaplan in the Senate. That measure would require imported alcohol distributed by an American entity to be checked for quality and safety, similar to the way domestic alcohol already is.
“This measure puts our restaurants and taverns first," Skoufis said. "We should be doing anything and everything in our legislative capacity to ensure that small business owners are provided the relief they so desperately need right now. Capping delivery fees and keeping sourcing within the country are two meaningful steps we can take right now to relieve restaurants and taverns who have been hit exceptionally hard during the pandemic.”