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Should alcohol to-go become law, Texas Restaurant Association says it could help save the industry



TX –  Alcohol to-go might become a law in 2021 and the Texas Restaurants Association (TRA) said it could help save the industry.

The bill to keep to-go sales of alcohol was filed earlier this month and, if it passes, the TRA said 40% to 50% of Texas restaurants would benefit.

“We’re looking, in some cases, our city centers, our downtown areas, it could be four to five years. Just think about four to five years to recover. And so, it’s a very long journey for restaurants. We’ve got a couple of things in the table with the legislature,” said TRA President Emily Williams-Knight.

People could easily grab a drink and take it home with food orders when Gov. Greg Abbott signed a waiver in March 2020 to help struggling restaurants. The industry took a major financial hit when COVID-19 started spreading last year, and Williams-Knight said the alcohol to-go rule was a major game-changer.

“I think what we’ve done is see that work very effectively. And now, in this 87th Legislative Session, we’re hoping to solidify that and for it to become law,” said Williams-Knight. “We feel strongly that, when you look at the tax receipts across the state, you can clearly see that restaurants and hotels were the hardest hit. We’re going to need state stimulus to help us. Whether that be a reduction in taxes … whether it be a tax incentive, a stimulus, we are going to have to have something from this Texas legislature if we’re going to save this restaurant industry.”