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Adaptive Restaurants: Adjusting Service for the COVID Environment

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While restaurants are struggling during this coronavirus pandemic, having been required to adopt delivery and/or curbside service models exclusively as their primary source of revenue, many are responding to the challenge with creative solutions to supplement lost revenue. Read on to learn more about how restaurants are altering their service offerings in the COVID environment.

Grocery Sales: People are purchasing more from grocery stores, and less at restaurants, causing inventory issues at the restaurant and restaurant food supplier levels. The solution? Sell groceries along with to-go meals. This not only adds convenience for customers to get groceries and take-out in one stop, but it also helps them access products like flour, fresh vegetables, and toilet paper when they may be out of stock at the local grocery store.

With this being a new revenue line for most restaurants, it is important to keep in mind that Washington State law exempts most grocery type food items from retail sales tax. Read more from the Washington DOR to determine what items collect sales tax.

To-Go Beer & Cocktails: In addition to allowing businesses to offer pick-up and delivery of kegs and growlers, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced that effective May 6th, pre-mixed cocktails are also allowable for curbside pick-up. Full rules and requirements from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board can be found here.

While these sources of revenue may not fully restore restaurants to their pre-COVID levels, even small amounts can help them ride the storm and stay afloat during this difficult time. For more information about Berntson Porter’s Hospitality Practice Group and services, click here.