Combating Costly At-Rest Legislation
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Posted by: Danielle Koonce
A bill making its way through the New York State Legislature would require that ALL alcoholic beverages be stored in a warehouse located in New York for twenty-four hours before being delivered to a restaurant, liquor store, or other venue for sale. This new legislation would have a negative effect on nearly all businesses and consumers that purchase or sell alcoholic beverages in the state of New York. The New York State Restaurant Association is working diligently in opposing this bill to ensure this does not happen.
Most alcohol sold to New York restaurants is shipped through ports in New Jersey and is stored in warehouses there before being sent to New York. Should this bill become law, distributors would be forced to pay for new warehouse space in New York. This bill would give a distinct advantage to the largest distributors who already have warehouse space in New York while all others would either have to stop shipping to New York or, more likely, find themselves passing on the increased cost to the buyer (NYS Restaurant Association members). A potential result is a decrease in the variety of alcoholic beverages available and an increase in cost.
The New York Wine industry in particular could be negatively impacted by this legislation. New York wine consumers would suffer from smaller selections with less accessibility to fine wines, higher costs as smaller distributors are forced to close their doors to New York, and limited access to suitable temperature-controlled warehouse space.
Decreasing the amount of choice and increasing the cost of alcohol in New York would have devastating effects on New York restaurants. Consumers are often passionate about wine selection and are always conscious of prices. This legislation sends both in the wrong direction.
Our President and CEO Melissa Fleischut, Mickey King and Dominick Purnomo attended a public hearing on "at rest" proposals on May 16th with restaurant owners to make sure our voices were heard by legislators.