Restaurants and bars want to sell the wine at the SAQ

Restaurateurs et bars veulent vendre du vin comme à la SAQ

In anticipation of the been “disastrous” which awaits them, restaurateurs and owners of bars, calling for the right to sell wine and beers to take away, like the SAQ, and convenience stores.

While many canadians are discovering that it is possible to add a bottle of wine in his order of takeout, the owners of restaurants and bars would like to push the experience even further, by obtaining the right to sell off the inventory of their wine cellar this summer, generating revenue to be appreciated.

The summer season promises to be difficult. At the time of their re-opening, the dining rooms of the restaurants will have their capacity reduced drastically in order to comply with the principles of detachment. Profit margins are already thin restoration, many fear a financial disaster.

Selling crates of bottles of wine or individual bottles would allow some to keep the head out of the water, ” says the vice-president of public affairs for the Association des restaurateurs du Québec (ARQ).

“We think that exceptional situation, exceptional measures,” says François Meunier.

“Yes, it would affect the State’s monopoly of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), but it is a question of survival for the restaurants. If you do not give us other ways to diversify our income this summer, it’s going to be the end for many, ” he said.

Already available on the web

It is unknown, but the restaurants have since 2002 have the opportunity to sell wine to go with the purchase of a meal. As for the bars that sell food, they do not have this chance : it is impossible to sell wine to go, even with the purchase of a meal.

In both cases, however, they may sell their wines through the site, to the origin of the campaign “raise our glass” in under a special agreement with the SAQ.

The site acts as a catalogue where the sommeliers of bars and restaurants, can register their bottles and put them to sell.

“It’s complicated “, noted Alain Rochard, owner of the bar The Red Throat, which has nearly 4,000 bottles in his cellar. His wish : that the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux authorizes bars to sell their bottles directly to their customers, by the time the crisis passes.

“We all have stocks of bottles blocked currently. If we had an authorization of a wine merchant, with or without food, it would pay for some of our fixed costs. Instead of crying to the government to give us money, we could generate revenue. And the money saved by the governments could be invested elsewhere, ” pleads he.

Work already started

The office of the minister of public Safety, Genevieve Guilbault, who reports to the Régie des alcools, suggests that this option is not on the table currently.

“Even before the COVID, we worked relief [regulatory]” such as the ability to serve alcohol without a meal in restaurants “, however, specifies a press officer Amélie Package.

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