As the NYC Hospitality Alliance continues to fight for a long list of policies to support the future of our city’s restaurant and nightlife industry, we wanted to share with you four issues we’re prioritizing with the Governor, State Senate and Assembly.
- Make “Alcohol To Go” Permanent
The executive order we advocated for at the beginning of the pandemic that allows restaurants and bars to sell “alcohol to go” has provided many of these struggling small businesses with a crucial revenue stream, and it has become very popular with the public. We’re fighting to make “alcohol to go” a permanent policy so restaurants and bars can count on this revenue long-term, and customers can continue to enjoy this great convenience.
- Outdoor Dining and Alcohol
A little known executive order we advocated for helped make the Open Restaurants, outdoor dining program a success (11,000 participating businesses and 100,000 jobs), because it allows liquor licensed establishments to serve alcohol in non-contiguous areas like the curb space, and on sidewalks without filing an alteration application with the State Liquor Authority. Now, that we’re working on the details of the permanent outdoor dining program with the City, as we explained in this recent alert
, we need to pass a state law that will permanently allow for alcohol to be served in non-contiguous areas like the curb space, once the executive order expires, in order to make the program a success.
- Temporary Liquor Licenses in NYC
It’s mind-boggling that during an economic crisis, small business owners in NYC have to wait 4-7 months to get a new liquor license from the State Liquor Authority (SLA), whereas those in the rest of the state may be issued a temporary liquor license allowing them to operate and serve in closer to 30 days. We’re advocating for a law that would allow the SLA to issue temporary liquor licenses in NYC, which will spur economic investment, open closed storefront businesses sooner, get employees back to work quicker, and generate tax revenue.
The 80/20 Rule that effectively prohibits restaurant workers from participating in a tip pool and earning gratuities if they work over 20% or two hours of their shift in a “non-tipped occupation” was a huge problem pre-pandemic. It limited workers’ income and their ability to gain on-the-job experience, while creating enormous liability for employers. Covid-19 has exacerbated challenges the 80/20 Rule poses because workers must now spend more of their shift focused on implementing safety protocols, setting up outdoor dining, and PPE requirements that could contribute to the 20%, or two hour calculation. We are fighting to amend the 80/20 Rule to simply allow employers to pay tipped food service workers at two rates during a workday—one rate for non-tipped work (equal to or over the minimum wage), and one at the tip credit rate, as done in states across the country.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance will keep you updated on our efforts advocating for these important polices.