Takeout and delivery booze is here to stay in Ontario

The province is further liberalizing alcohol sales with a series of reforms, including making takeout booze permanent


Alcohol delivery is here to stay in Ontario.

The province is making the sale of booze with food takeout and delivery orders permanent, the attorney general said on December 9.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) temporarily allowed licensed restaurants and bars to sell alcohol with food delivery or takeout orders back in March to help the hospitality sector weather the economic fallout of COVID-19.

The measure was set to expire on December 31.

“Ontario’s vibrant hospitality sector and its workers have been hard hit by COVID-19,” Attorney General Doug Downey said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“We’re building on the actions we took early in the pandemic to support local restaurants, bars and other businesses by providing permanent help to workers and small businesses as they face these ongoing challenges.”

The move is part of a series of forms that will also allow alcohol service on docked boats if the operator has a liquor sales license.

Restaurants and bars can also reduce the minimum pricing for spirits consumed during on-site dining, matching the lower prices they were allowed to start charging for takeout in March.

Third-party delivery services must also have delivery licenses.

Regular rules around alcohol sales, such as checking ID, undergoing Smart Serve training and not serving intoxicated people, will apply to delivery services and boat operators.

As part of Ontario’s more liberalized approach to booze sales, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government is removing restrictions to allow alcohol to be delivered with food boxes and meal kits.

Restaurants and bars can offer mixed cocktails and growlers as part of a takeout or delivery order. Wineries, breweries and other alcohol manufacturers can deliver their own products and charge a fee.

Additionally, Ontario-made wines and spirits can be sold at farmer’s markets.

It will also be easier for the AGCO to extend temporary patio licenses.

“The AGCO’s focus on delivering strong and effective regulatory services includes looking for every opportunity to reduce burden, simplify rules, and offer greater flexibility,” said CEO Tom Mungham in a statement.

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