Weekly Update: WRA urges Liquor Control Board to delay pricing regulations

Yesterday, at a Liquor Control Board (LCB) hearing, the WRA provided comment, urging the board to delay the effective date of its new rules prohibiting preferential pricing, planned to go in effect on September 9. We want these rules delayed until we can mount a legal challenge against them. We believe the court will rule in our favor as it did in a previous lawsuit when the LCB attempted to apply additional market restrictions. The LCB’s proposed rules:

  • Set uniform pricing for spirits, with two exceptions:
    • Uniform quantity discounts and
    • Products that have never been sold in the state, for the first six months;
  • Prohibit businesses from negotiating a price for a product based on their value in the marketplace.
  • Prohibit cost-saving efficiencies in supplier-customer purchasing habits:
    • To qualify for what the board feels is an appropriate quantity discount, the order must be made at one moment and
    • Cannot be delivered to more than one location if the restaurant group is more than one legal entity.
  • Cannot take into account the number of offerings from a supplier, or brand loyalty purchasing options (referred to as family plan pricing by the board).

In addition the WRA, grocers, wineries, and spirits manufacturers have all raised serious legal concerns about the board’s proposed rules. For more information, contact the WRA’s Julia Gorton.

Mark the date: Liquor Summit – September 16

The WRA invites you to be a part of the 2015 Alcohol Summit. Now that we’ve transitioned to a private marketplace for spirits and wine, we need your direction on the future of alcohol beverage regulation in Washington. From licensing, to enforcement, to training, to major policy changes – tell us how to help your business be successful and innovative. Come for the ideas, stay for the drinks! More details to follow. The Liquor Summit will be held on Wednesday, September 16, noon–3 p.m., at the Rhein Haus, 912 12th Ave., Seattle.

Mark your calendars for Golf FORE! Education – A fun way to support the industry, September 22

Golf FORE! Education supports ProStart, the WRA Education Foundation’s culinary arts program that trains our future hospitality work force. ProStart provides high school students with culinary techniques to management skills, utilizes an industry-driven curriculum that is a nationally accredited technical training program, is mentored by industry professionals to provide real life experiences that build practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime and gives participants the knowledge and skills needed for today’s demand for skilled employees. Your involvement, support and generous donations have a huge impact on growing and developing the hospitality industry, your communities and the potential of our upcoming workforce! This will be a fun filled day for all at the Washington National Golf Club (14330 SE Husky Way, Auburn) on Tuesday, September 22. Your golf registration will include prizes for 1st, 2nd, 18th and 36th place, contests for closest to the pin, longest drive, lunch, gift bag, range balls, scramble golf and cart. Register now online. Deadline is September 14. For more information on registration and sponsorship opportunities, contact the WRA’s Bernadette Irish.

Maggiano’s Little Italy and Department of Health on this week’s DineNW radio show – now online

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Co-hosts Andy Cook and Paul Schlienz kick off the show by interviewing Josh Roth, general manager of Maggiano’s Little Italy, in Bellevue. Andy and Paul then chat with Dr. Scott Lindquist, communicable diseases epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, about the current Salmonella outbreak in Washington state.

Washington Restaurant Market Watch: What you need to know about Salmonella

Salmonella is very much on the minds of Washington’s restaurateurs.

Since May, more than 134 Salmonella cases have been identified in 10 Washington counties.

While restaurant operators are worried about it, so are the state’s health authorities.

This week the WRA’s Dine NW radio show interviewed Dr. Scott Lindquist, communicable diseases epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, who is at the epicenter of the state’s effort to isolate Salmonella and stop its spread. Read more…

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