As previewed in last month’s report, we’ve launched an effort to deal with liquor pricing. We’ve met with the State Liquor Authority to review our legislative proposals. The Authority does not take positions on bills pending before the legislature, except for the ones they advance, but they provided helpful technical comments. They also asked good questions, including several seeking to quantify the extent of the problem. As a result, we’ve drafted this survey to collect information about your experiences with wine and liquor wholesalers. The more data we can collect the more powerful our argument will be that the current system is costly and discriminatory to small restaurant and bar owners.
We’ve also asked the State Liquor Authority to address several issues concerning wine and liquor wholesalers administratively. It’s our position that fuel surcharges are not permissible unless the SLA specifically approves them. We’ve asked the Liquor Authority to require wholesalers who want to impose a fuel surcharge to seek the Authority’s approval and to justify adding them on top of the filed prices. We’ve also requested the State Liquor Authority require wholesalers who hold exclusive rights to a brand in New York State to provide service at least once per week to licensees and to prohibit them for closing for more than three days without permission of the SLA and notice to each licensee. We’re hoping the Authority will call a special industry meeting to discuss these issues. Not only will this give us an opportunity to address these concerns, but it will provide us a forum to raise our larger concerns.
Please complete the survey and return it as soon as possible so we can build our case. We’re just getting started with this campaign. We’ll update you next month and tell you what else you can do to help advance the cause.