States are Shutting Down Alcohol Sales Again

Yesterday Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, turned the dial back on alcohol sales for bars and restaurants. Bars with more than 51% of gross sales from alcohol must close immediately and restaurants below that threshold must scale back to 50% capacity by Monday. Click here for the TX Order. As we have discussed for months now, one of the worst things that can happen to our industry is to go backwards. Florida has ordered a similar shutdown, Florida Dialing Back Alcohol Sales. Seems like this may be an option if things go “south” here in Minnesota.

We went from being completely closed, to take out only, to 50% capacity now. We have been given specific guidelines to follow and yes, they are not all ideal. However, they are the guidelines we must all follow, like it or not.

Click here to read the guidelines from the Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

I have been involved in all of the discussions with DEED, the Governor’s office, MN Dept. of Health and many other great industry partners and peers that do our best to collaborate for the good of the order. Although some of the conversations do not always go our way, we ARE at the table, fighting for you everyday!

As we look to the near future to turn the dial forward in preparation for Phase 4, we cannot lose focus of what we have to do as an industry. We must follow the Executive Orders as it seems the MLBA and other stakeholders are responsible for providing information to license holders and our customers. We all want to get to that brass ring of 100% opening. With hiccups like what is happening in Texas, Florida and even here in Mankato, we have to do better.

No, I will not make a lot of friends from this update letter to you. The old adage of one bad apple can spoil the whole basket may in fact ring true for us if we do not all do our part. Servers, bartenders and other staff members, YOU MUST WEAR MASKS. It is the law and having your customers wear them in is mandatory in some cities in Minnesota but strongly suggested statewide. Make sure “social distancing” is adhered to with both your staff and your customers (ie. table spacing; booth partitions; not gathering at the bar, etc.) Also, reservations is not just a suggestion, it too is a requirement. Click here to read the guidelines from DEED.

Fellow license holders, these requirements may seem unreasonable to some, but not following these requirements may end up being the reason for our Governor to dial back. It took 3 months of intense negotiations and sacrifice to get what we have now. We cannot allow for us to take a step backwards and jeopardize our current progress.

If you need clarification on requirements or anything else, please reach out to me. It is crucial for us to do what is necessary but not always comfortable. Let us do this together and turn the dial of re-opening forward and not back. Our survival depends on it.

Standing Together,

Tony Chesak
MLBA Executive Director