Massachusetts restaurant relief bill to add ‘cocktails-to-go’ to boost business

Massachusetts

(WWLP) — Massachusetts legislatures are considering new reforms to its relief efforts in a bill for hospitality businesses including restaurants.

Among the changes, the bill will include a cap on third-party delivery services—such as GrubHub—and would ensure fees in online orders are no more than 15% of the total price. Bill Stetson–owner of the Rumbleseat bar and grille in Chicopee said this cap will help his business.

“What they do is they charge the location and then they put a charge on for the people receiving the product,” said Stetson. “So places like mine—not built around delivery—-will benefit from that.”

Restaurants are already allowed to sell beer and wine with takeout and delivery orders—but under the bill, cocktails-to-go will also be an option. Mixed drinks must be served in sealed containers and only 64 ounces per order will be allowed. Casey Bridges of West Springfield told 22News he’s not sure if his family would take advantage of cocktails-to-go.

“Rather than spend $20 for a drink at a restaurant somewhere—maybe that’s the blessing of all of this is people are not going to be spending an arm and a leg to have a drink at a bar,” said Bridges.

The bill will also include a waiver of penalties and interest for late meals tax payments. The bill also received initial approval in the House and will go before a formal session. Outdoor dining at restaurants is set to begin at the start of phase two of the reopening plan.

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