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Connecticut Officials Clarify Alcohol-with-Food Service Guidelines

December 2, 2020

For Immediate Release

From the Office of John J. Suchy, Director, Liquor Control Division

Alcohol Beverage Service & Food

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has released updated sector rules and clarification relating to food that must be accompanied with any alcohol beverage service.

The updated rules are as follows:

Alcoholic beverages may not be served to any patron unless such individual is seated at a table or bar and is presently consuming food prepared on the premises.  Alcoholic beverages may be served when such food has been ordered and will be imminently served.  Additional drinks may be purchased while the patron is still consuming the food.

“Food,” for purposes of this rule, means food that creates a sit-down dining experience and is similar in quality and substance to a meal.  For example:

  • Includes sit-down meals that must be eaten from tableware with the use of utensils (e.g., large servings of soup, large salads, or plated entrees);
  • Includes food that, while not traditionally eaten with utensils, constitutes a full meal (e.g., pizza, hamburgers, or sandwiches);
  • Includes food similar in quality and substance to a meal, such as heavy appetizers (e.g., stuffed pretzels, chicken wings, charcuterie plates, fried calamari, loaded nachos, or flatbreads);
  • Includes substantial dessert items (e.g., a full piece of cake, an entire pastry, or a full ice cream sundae);
  • Includes items from an on-site food truck or walk-up order window, provided the patron is seated with their food order;
  • Includes shareable food items, so long as the food creates a sit-down dining experience for all patrons in the party and creates the quality and substance of a meal for every patron in the party (e.g. sushi platter for four);
  • Does not include side items by themselves (e.g., French fries, bread, small cup of soup, small salad, or small portions of vegetables);
  • Does not include snack food, although those items may be served as sides to other substantial foods (e.g., chips, popcorn, pretzels, candy or nuts); and
  • Does not include food brought to the premises by the patron from home or other location, other than on-site food truck.

To learn more about DECD sector rules for many businesses and services in Connecticut, here is the link to the DECD sector rules page (see below)



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