Pennsylvania Restaurateurs Want Cheaper Booze
Following what seemed to be a successful hearing before the House Liquor Control Board in Harrisburg regarding wholesale pricing (and a wholesale relationship in general) between Pennsylvania restaurant and bar owners and the distributors who supply the booze, the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) has been encouraging members of the hospitality industry to reach out to Pennsylvania senators and representatives.
The near-term hope is that changes to the PLCB system can be made part of the budget negotiations. The bigger wish? That PA restaurant folk can get something more like a fair shake when it comes to buying the hooch and Jesus juice that we all love so much. And you know what? We’re with them on this one.
Why? Simple. The restaurant people are looking for more competitive pricing on their end so that they can charge less when selling it to us–the rummies and day-drinkers who fill their bars and restaurants. There are a lot of costs added onto the base price of that bottle of Fireball behind the bar–like a 10-18% Logistics Transportation And Manufacturing Factor and an 18% Johnstown Flood tax–which restauranteurs don’t have to pay in states with a sane and rational liquor policy. And our guys here in PA are sick of not being able to compete.
The form letter which PRLA has prepared states, in part:
As a member of the hospitality industry, I am reaching out to ask you to support legislation that would ensure true wholesale pricing for licensees in the Commonwealth – either through privatization of wine and spirit sales or comprehensive change in the current PLCB system. Pennsylvania is one of only two states where the state has full control the sale of wine and spirits-because of this, we are not able to have the pricing structure that true large volume purchases and retailers in other states have had for years.
You see how they snuck the magic word in there? “Privatization” is what they’re really fighting for. But while we all grow old waiting for that, there are some reasonable changes that could be made to make things just a little bit easier on bar and restaurant owners in Philly and beyond.
If you want to read the whole letter (and you should), you can check it out through the link below. Here’s hoping that enough PA restaurateurs pass it along that those with the power to change things start to listen.