Albany. Skoufis introduces bill to provide restaurant and tavern relief from alcohol fees

Albany /
04 Jan 2021 | 02:02

    Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) announced he will be introducing legislation to strictly limit the significant delivery fees that many restaurants and taverns face when ordering wine and spirits.

    Additionally, he is calling for “primary source” legislation, carried by Senator Anna Kaplan, to be passed as a package with the new delivery fee bill.

    Primary sourcing would require all foreign alcohol be distributed by an American entity - just as all domestic alcohol already is - in order to check for quality and safety. Alcohol and Beverage Control statute falls under the Investigations and Government Operations Committee’s jurisdiction which Skoufis chairs.

    Delivery fees assessed by wholesalers have been steadily increasing to the detriment of smaller restaurants and taverns. Limiting the amount wholesalers can charge for deliveries will provide a much-needed boost to many of our small businesses that have faced enormous challenges from COVID-19 restrictions. Skoufis’ bill prohibits wholesalers from assessing a delivery fee on any order in excess of $200 and authorizes a set fee of $7.50 for any order less than $200. Additionally, this legislation establishes a customer fee transparency program, which requires the wholesaler to provide a detailed description of the fee assessment.

    “This measure puts our restaurants and taverns first,” said Senator Skoufis. “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.”