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Alcohol delivery options expanded for Iowa businesses after Reynolds signs bill

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) - Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Monday allowing for third-party delivery companies to partner with businesses to deliver alcohol to customers.

This law only affects businesses that choose to enter into a contractual agreement with a third-party delivery service such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash.

This law allows delivery drivers with the companies to deliver alcohol from the business to your doorstep. Some local business owners support this new law, and others do not feel it is worth it.

"It’s almost like a marketing expense. It’s like advertising," Iowa Restaurant Association President and CEO Jessica Dunker said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on delivery services and people utilizing them more often. Third-party delivery services can sometimes take 30% of a business' cut.

“We do it as a consumer convenience but rarely is there profitability for a restaurant or bar in the delivery of food or alcohol," Dunker said.

In most cases, the only profit is getting the business' name out there.

“By adding this element to our business plan and strategy we should see an immediate increase," Lark Brewing founder and brewer Sean Christensen said.

Christensen says he has turned down delivery services in the past, but now that every menu item will be up for delivery through these outlets, he's considering working with them.

Lark Brewing recently opened in the College Square Mall in Cedar Falls as a part of the mall's revitalization project and Christensen feels this is a good way to get people connected, and ultimately come to dine-in.

“That’s a huge plus. That’s going to get the word out for our small business. That’s going to reach a lot more customers than we could before and that’s a win," he said.

On the other hand, there are businesses that are already able to deliver alcohol themselves under certain Class C licensing. In that case, owners may not want to take advantage of the new law and opportunity to add delivery services.

“We already offer that service and I’m pretty sure we’re able to do that at a cheaper rate than what they would be able to," Happy's Wine and Spirits owner Tom Amlie said.

Amlie also expressed concerns about who would be at fault if alcohol would end up in the hands of a minor. If that were to happen, both the business and the delivery company could face penalties for not checking the ID of the driver and the customer who placed the order.

The law goes into effect July 1.

View House File 766 here:

HF766

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Diego Hernandez

Multimedia Journalist

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