Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31.	(Pixabay photo)

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31. (Pixabay photo)

Pubs, restaurants to pay wholesale prices on liquor permanently in COVID-recovery

Pre-pandemic, restaurateurs and tourism operators paid full retail price on most liquor purchases

The province says restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licenses will continue to pay wholesale prices for alcohol, extending the pandemic-related measures indefinitely in order to support the hospitality industry.

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31. Before that, hospitality licensees – including restaurants, pubs and tourism operators with liquor licences – paid full retail price on most liquor purchases.

“Now we are making this change permanent to give these businesses certainty and help them recover, and to help the estimated 190,000 British Columbians who work in this sector,” Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced Tuesday (Feb. 23).

ALSO READ: B.C. to drop retail liquor markup for liquor-licensed businesses

This is the latest recommendation implemented to support the liquor industry based on consultation with key stakeholders.

Other changes have included temporarily extending the operating hours of retail liquor stores to promote physical distancing and accommodate vulnerable populations, and permitting all food-primary and liquor-primary licensees to deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal.

Trevor Kallies, director of beverage with the Donnelly Group, said the permanent shift to wholesale will alleviate the financial pressures face by the industry due to COVID-19.

“Business owners can now move forward with a focus on other areas, such as the health and safety of staff and customers, and keeping our businesses alive.”


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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