State Liquor Authority to Hold Hearing Next Week on 3 rd Party Issue

At the end of August, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) released a draft guidance regarding the need to list 3rd party service providers on a restaurant’s liquor license if they charge over a certain percentage. Since then, there has been much conjecture about the impact this would have on the restaurant industry. Many, including those in the press, have inferred that this guidance would implement a de facto cap on the fees delivery companies, like Grubhub and Uber Eats, as well as other service providers, would be able to charge a restaurant for their services. However, the NYS Restaurant Association remains unsure on the implications.

There are a myriad of undefined terms used throughout the draft guidance that muddies the waters considerably. NYSRA has submitted questions to the SLA in hopes that they can provide the information we need to make sure that we are interpreting the advisory in the correct manner. The good news is that these answers may be provided next week when the SLA holds a special hearing on this issue on Monday in New York City. NYSRA’s Government Affairs team will be on hand at this hearing to provide testimony and to hear what the SLA has to say on this issue. We will update you on all the important information quickly following the hearing.

NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Announces Expansion of Commercial Organics Program in NYC

There is an existing trial program in NYC to divert commercial organic waste from landfills – via dedicated organics removal, onsite composting, or donating food scraps. According to an announcement from DSNY, this requirement would apply to more businesses under a proposed rule change.

Those most relevant to our members are as follows:
  • food prep establishments of at least six thousand square feet;
  • catering establishments (in cases where they are already required to remove waste) for events with 100 or more people expected;
  • food service establishments of at least seven thousand square feet;
  • any food service establishment in a hotel with at least 100 rooms;
  • food service establishments that are part of a chain of two or more locations in NYC, if the combined total floor space is at least eight thousand square feet and;
  • if your building arranges your waste carter: buildings with eight thousand or more total square feet from all food service establishments.

Please let us know if you have questions or comments, or if this would newly affect you. There will be a public hearing held on this proposal in November, and there is currently an open comment period. We intend to weigh in, so any feedback from you is helpful in forming our comments and testimony.

Albany County to Look at Law Requiring Bars to Close Earlier

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced yesterday at an event at the University of Albany that he would support a measure that would require bars in Albany County to close at 2:00 a.m., rather than the 4:00 a.m. time they currently are mandated to cease services. NYSRA quickly came out in opposition to this proposal, emphasizing the fact that operating hours should be dictated by the restaurants and bars themselves and not by public policy. We also emphasized that enacting this law on a county by county basis is unfair and puts businesses at a competitive disadvantage . NYSRA is planning on meeting with stakeholders in the near future on this issue to voice our opposition to this Draconian idea. 
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