Group pushing to make alcoholic to-go drinks a permanent service in Tennessee

Photo Source: Pixabay / MGN
Photo Source: Pixabay / MGN(KALB)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 9:32 PM EDT
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While restaurants around the state continue to struggle financially while dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, one group is asking for the sale of to-go drinks to become a permanent fixture in Tennessee.


the online campaign was started by a Memphian and has been signed by thousands of people.

Jake Smith, a certified sommelier, says people are surprised to learn the importance of alcohol sales to restaurants' bottom line.

“You can ask anybody who works in a fine dining white tablecloth restaurant to a honkey tonk bar, selling alcohol is by far the most profitable way to make money for a restaurant,” Smith said.

That’s why he started the “Drinks To Go Forever Tennessee”

, as well as a petition asking the Tennessee legislature to make to-go drinks a permanent service.

“This is merely one extra sort of tool in our arsenal to allow us to continue to have a livelihood,” Smith said.

Smith’s group is asking Governor Bill Lee to extend the executive order allowing to-go alcoholic drinks to the end of the year. They hope to create and pass a bill through the legislature next year with regulations and tamper-evident seals to deter any drinking and driving.

“If this is done properly and the proper regulations are put in place, I have a strong belief that this could actually reduce drunk driving and also reduce over serving in bars,” Smith said.

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