From: Melva Sine
To: jandereff, kraig,
Date: Thu Jan 23 21:25:39 MST 2014

During the coming session the one message that will be the same and constant from the Utah Restaurant Association throughout the 45 days is: " TEAR DOWN THE WALL".   It is time as Representative Dee pointed out to end restrictive, needless regulation.  The WALL is just such a regulation!   I would refer you to a website that has some data (if you search under advertising) that talks about the effects of advertising and the fact that advertising does NOT create more drinkers.  Advertising simply creates more market share for those who sell alcohol and compete against each other in the marketplace like Budweiser and Coors.
Service, dispensing and storage in view of the public at a bar structure in restaurants does not promote alcohol consumption nor do these simple gestures of serving, dispensing and storage create a desire for someone to drink alcohol.  The Supreme Court ruled that Restaurants can legally display alcohol anywhere in the restaurant.  Most restaurants display alcohol products only at the bar structure.   Alcoholic beverages are prepared at the bar structure and served from the bar structure.  No minors are allowed to be seated at the bar structure.  When people are seated at the bar structure, it is almost virtually impossible for anyone in the restaurant to view, service, dispensing and storage.  The distinction between a BAR and a RESTAURANT is the requirement that restaurants must obtain 70% of their revenue from the sale of food.  This is what defines a restaurant.  A bar in Utah has no requirement for the sale of food versus alcohol.  
Utah has over 4,300 restaurants.  70% of these restaurants do NOT offer any kind of alcoholic beverages.  The restaurants in the state who sell alcohol --  sell only 9% of all of the alcohol sold in the state.  When a consumer goes into a UDABC state store they buy a bottle or more.  When a consumer buys a drink in a restaurant they are buying one drink (1 to 1.5 oz. of alcohol and/or up to 5 oz of beer/wine) for the same cost as the whole bottle they can purchase in a state liquor store! 
The mark-up on alcohol sold to restaurants by the Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is 87%.  A restaurant makes very little money on the sale of alcohol in the state of Utah.  Restaurants sell alcohol (adult beverages) because patrons request this product and service not because a restaurant operator is going to get "rich" from the sale of alcohol.  
The best place to consume alcohol is in a restaurant. 
  • A patron is consuming food;
  • The patron is also limited by the fact that the restaurant licensee cannot allow a patron to over consume;
  • The price of dinner and drink is limiting as well;  
A restaurant must maintain a 70% food and 30% beverage revenue ratio.  
The WALL was created in 2009 when Governor Huntsman determined that it was time to address meaningful reform of Utah's liquor laws.  Restaurants in 2009 were not allowed to serve a drink across the bar to a patron seated at the bar.  To be sure that restaurants complied with this (restrictive, needless) regulation, restaurants were required to put some sort of barrier across their bars that would prevent them from just handing an alcoholic beverage across the bar.  This barrier soon became known as the "Zion Curtain".  It was agreed in 2009 to end private club memberships and take down the "curtains".  All restaurant licensees in the state would be "grandfathered" and would be allowed to have service, dispensing, and storage of alcohol in view of the public.  All restaurants built in the state after January 1, 2010 would be required to hide "service, dispensing, and storage -- with a WALL.  The Utah Restaurant Association opposed the WALL due to the fact that existing restaurants  had neither the money nor the space to meet such an expensive and needless restriction and it's NOW time to end the confusion for restaurants and TEAR DOWN THE WALL!
Thank you!
Melva Sine, President/CEO
Utah Restaurant Association
5645 South Waterbury Way, Suite D-203
Salt Lake City, Utah  84121
Phone:  801-274-7309
Fax: 801-274-7310
Cell:  801-231-4707
FYI!  Utah's liquor laws the "brown" speck the media loves to peck at...

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