Rep. Gage Froerer said the language in the code is confusing when it comes to when customers order alcohol beverages. If a customer wants to order an alcoholic beverage at a business with a restaurant liquor license they must place a food order first.
The owner of Zy Food Wine and Cheese in downtown Salt Lake said most guests prefer to order a drink first then browse the menu.
“It’s a service issue, because people are like ‘why can't I just get a drink? I just want a drink?’ then it makes us look like we're withholding service from the guest and that's not what were supposed to do we're the hospitality industry,” said Matthew Lake, owner.
Froerer’s bill would change the intent of the language and allow restaurants the serve the drink first as along as the customer orders food eventually.
But the bill would do more. It would also free up more liquor licenses for businesses who want to openly display alcohol. Froerer said he would turn 25 reception licenses into the highly sought after dining club license.
The bill received a committee hearing Wednesday.