Culinary and Hospitality Modernization Act
The Illinois House passed a bill late last week called the
Culinary and Hospitality Modernization Act, which would institute several
changes to restaurants, bars and other liquor license holders in the
state. Today, it passed the Senate.
For starters, it would signal the return of "Happy
Hour" (reduced drink prices for a limited part of the day) which was
banned in 1989 for fears of promoting binge drinking. Under the
proposed bill, establishments could offer discounted alcohol up to four
hours each day and 15 hours total per week. Some limitations would remain
in place, such as volume discounts (2-for-1) and would ban
discounts after 10pm.
The bill would also allow businesses to offer food and
alcohol pairings as well as house-infused spirits, two practices that are
both currently banned.
On top of that, it would mandate that Beverage Alcohol
Sellers and Servers Education and Training (BASSET) be mandatory for all
pourers and servers. The BASSET program is intended to train
servers to identify the signs of intoxication and curb sales to underage
and legally intoxicated patrons. We have a state-approved BASSET
training course called Responsible Alcohol Management Practices - click here for more info. Our next class is
scheduled for June 9th, in Alton.
The next step for the bill is obtaining Governor Rauner's
signature. Given his pro-business agenda, it is not expected to
encounter any further obstacles. So the only question would then be
how soon it would be implemented.
What are your thoughts on the return of Happy Hour to
Illinois? What about mandatory liquor training for on-premises
servers? Please share your thoughts on our Facebook page.