It seems as though it is now confirmed, we are a world of alcoholics! Just kidding, but alcohol does play a major role in deciding where to eat. At least one in five patrons consider alcohol as extremely important while considering where one dines (I’m definitely one of them).
This is an increase from a previous one in eight patrons that considered alcohol a contributing factor in their dining out plans. According to the independent family distillers, consumers are increasingly choosing to drink alcohol in restaurants, with casual-dining experiences “blurring the lines” between food and drink occasions.
This information seems to be particularly pertinent in light of the recent enforcement of the highway liquor ban. Many restaurants in city limits across India have been hit with massive slumps in business with some restaurants reporting an almost 95% drop in daily revenue since the liquor ban was implemented with customers opting for other locations where they can obtain their poison of choice.
Restaurants and pubs, especially in the cities employ thousands of migrant workers, many of whom are the sole breadwinner for their family. While there haven’t been massive layoffs yet, restaurant owners are wary that if the highway liquor ban continues they may have to start letting employees go.
With drinking and eating becoming a more inclusive experience, it makes economic sense to speed up the denotification of now obsolete ‘highways’. The purpose of the liquor ban was in order to ensure that drunk drivers wouldn’t have high speeding accidents on the highway – but it’s common knowledge that drinking and driving is illegal.
I wonder if this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. While the intent came from a good place is it possible that instead of implementing a sweeping law that is causing crores of loss in revenue we could have been cracking down on the drink and drive law?