Governor Cuomo and the Cocktail Calamity: The Follow-up Sequel to Cuomo Chips

Sometimes it is really hard to follow Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reasoning. Does he desire to make policy choices that hurt the hospitality industry or does it occur on accident?

We all remember back to last summer when his feelings got hurt when a retailer charged $1.00 for Cuomo Chips paired with alcoholic drinks. The Cuomo chips were added to meet the food requirement. Not one for a sense of humor, Governor Cuomo banned the chips named after him and clarified the food requirements.

It all might be funny if didn’t impact people’s livelihoods. Although the Cuomo chips saga maybe bad, the Governor’s recent actions maybe even worse.

On June 23rd, Governor Cuomo lifted the state of emergency declaration and cancelled the executive order which allowed cocktails-to-go. Many business owners were promised that the executive order would be extended to July 5th, which would allow retailers to take advantage of the 4th of July weekend.

Sadly, when the Governor decided to cancel the emergency order and end cocktails-to-go, businesses had only one more day to sell cocktails-to-go. Businesses that brought the containers specific to this program are now stuck with materials they can’t use and had no way to prepare for the end.

Of course, we can’t blame Governor Cuomo completely as the legislature instead of passing a cocktails-to-go bill, which was presented to them, decided it was too much work and went home to enjoy their summer. At least they can enjoy their 4th of July weekend, a luxury the restaurant industry can’t enjoy.

What does this all mean?

I am going to make this very simple; the restaurant industry is hurting! It’s coming out of economic hibernation and waking up to a reality of inflation going through the roof and a shortage of workers to keep up with demand.

The industry is also faced with a new reality, carry out and delivery business is expanding and is here to stay. Restaurants must serve these customers’ needs or go out of business. We all know that a restaurant can’t survive without a liquor license. Yet, we expect, the restaurant industry not to utilize the benefits of its liquor license to serve its customer base whose demand for carry out and delivery keeps growing.

It’s sad that Governor Cuomo and his friends in Albany, that were too eager to go on vacation instead of passing a cocktails-to-go bill, are telling restaurants that we are cutting off a source of income needed for survival.

One can debate whether Governor Cuomo is good or bad at his job, but what one can’t debate is that his actions and lack of leadership may be killing off the New York restaurant industry. Let’s hope Governor Cuomo changes course and not just fiddle around as many restaurants are dying out!