Beverages to Geaux
Since the first drive-thru daiquiri stand opened in Lafayette in 1981, the boozy, sugary drink-on-the-go concept has spread far and wide and is undoubtedly a Louisiana institution. But, while picking up a daiquiri (or two) has become a Louisiana tradition, businesses offering alcohol delivery services have been off the menu.
Thankfully, two pieces of legislation, HB 508 by Representative Leopold (R-Belle Chasse) and HB 349 by Representative Carmody (R-Shreveport) may make beverage delivery possible.
HB 349 would allow for both grocery stores and restaurants to deliver beer and wine to thirsty patrons as long as food is included with the order. Currently, more than 40 percent of grocery stores offer some kind of online ordering or grocery delivery. With online grocery sales climbing to $17.5 billion in 2018 and expected to keep growing, more and more Louisianans will do their grocery shopping online. Why must they have to make a special trip to the store, just to procure their beer and wine?
If someone does forget to pick up their favorite beverages during a grocery run, however, HB 508 offers a solution. This legislation would allow liquor retailers to deliver beer, wine and liquor to individuals over the drinking age as long as the delivery is made to a residential address.
While this legislation doesn’t authorize third parties to deliver alcohol from retailers via an app, it still offers a huge step forward for freedom in Louisiana’s alcohol policies (not to mention saving hundreds of parties that prematurely run out of drinks).
Beyond the benefits to consumers and the businesses that serve them, these kinds of laws are an important first step to legalizing the on-demand economy in Louisiana.
The on-demand economy has allowed individuals to use their computers or phones to purchase goods and services with the click of a button and have them delivered in a matter of hours. This market is not only growing by leaps and bounds but is also adding convenience to the lives of millions. Rather than figuring out which day is best to take time after work to go grocery shopping, a parent can order the weeks’ worth of groceries while at work, allowing more time to be spent on the things that matter most.
Further, empowering the on-demand economy will not only benefit the current residents of Louisiana but will also make it a more attractive place to live, as many consumers have begun to take these services as a given.
Louisiana shouldn’t stop at these two helpful, but ultimately extremely focused bills. The on-demand economy has almost limitless possibilities, delivering everything from a bottle of wine to medical care, but its potential can only be unleashed if Louisiana legislators continue breaking down barriers.
The Pelican Institute hopes they embrace this growing and exciting opportunity for Louisiana’s citizens and job creators.