PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The U.S. Department of Labor released another dismal jobs report Thursday morning with an additional three million Americans filing for unemployment last week. Hospitality is among the hardest-hit industries in the latest jobs report, but for restaurant workers in Pennsylvania, things could be looking up after the state legislature approved to-go liquor sales.
Under the legislation, you would be allowed to go to your favorite restaurant and get a cocktail-to-go, just like you do with your food order. Restaurant owners say this is the shot in the arm they desperately need.
“I would love for tomorrow for a vaccine to come in and we’re back to normal again,” Craft Concepts Group owner Teddy Sourias said. “Of course, it’s everyone’s dream. But you know, we’re just going with the times, I guess.”
The state legislature nearly unanimously passed legislation allowing restaurant owners to sell to-go cocktails.
Sourias is the owner of popular Philadelphia restaurants like Tradesman’s, Blume and Finn McCools Ale House.
“As soon as we heard about this new law going into effect, we thought it might be a good idea to implement this,” Sourias said.
Restaurants and hotels that have lost more than 25% of their sales because of the pandemic would be able to serve mixed drinks. The drinks, however, have to be sold with a food order.
Sourias has over 300 employees who have all been laid off since mid-March. He says while for now they’ll be operating at a fraction of what they once were, he says he plans on eventually rehiring all of his employees.
“It’s great to have at least a handful of people in to help me rebuild,” Sourias said. “I guess you could call it a rebuild. … We have to adapt and the hardest thing to do is try to just change our mindset overnight. So yeah, it’s absolutely a new business.”
The law will be suspended after restaurants are operating at over 60% capacity.