It was already difficult for bars and restaurants amid the pandemic, with closures and capacity limits. And now North Carolina bars and restaurants face a new challenge: keeping liquor shelves well stocked. This is because the state is in the midst of an alcohol shortage.
Charlotte’s Ledger‘s Tony Mecia says it’s a complicated issue that affects multiple parts of the supply chain.
“This is in part due to higher demand – people are drinking more alcohol now than they were before the pandemic,” Mecia told WFAE “Morning Edition” host Marshall Terry in this week’s episode of BizWorthy. â… The ABC Commission in Raleigh points to things like glass shortages, shortages of delivery drivers. They implemented a new distribution system. There are a number of reasons why Mecklenburg County ABC store shelves are not fully stocked.
But South Carolina isn’t as badly affected by alcohol supply problems. Even though Mecklenburg is a border county, it’s not as easy as the restaurants and bars in Charlotte just send people across state borders to stock up. They have to buy alcohol from ABC county stores because of North Carolina alcohol laws.
Mecia says some local restaurants send staff to different ABC stores to find the alcohol they need and in some cases even print menus that don’t promise specific brands.
âThey’re used to getting certain products that they serve to customers and they don’t have them now,â Mecia said. âIt’s streaming. Customers see this. And if you walk into any ABC store, you’ll also see this: the shelves, most of the time, are empty.
In other news on the challenges of the pandemic: The fight to get people vaccinated continues in several sectors. Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s largest carrier, American Airlines, has just announced that it require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Several other major airlines have announced similar mandates.
âAs this pandemic progresses, I think we’re going to see different measures and different ways of implementing these mandates,â Mecia said. “Certainly more and more companies are requiring their employees to be vaccinated, and we are seeing those vaccination rates increase.”
You can listen to BizWorthy’s full conversation above. Here’s a quick look at two other topics Terry and Mecia touched on this week.
- A townhouse development is planned near the StoneCrest at Piper Glen shopping center in Ballantyne. There is already some opposition to the pace of development in this part of Charlotte.
- Tech company AvidXChange goes public. This is just a company’s latest filing in Charlotte for an IPO, and Mecia says it could mean big things for the city when it comes to its tech and philanthropic scene.