Gov. Bill Lee Permits To-Go and Delivery Wine Sales in TN

***Sales have been extended to 4/14

Gov. Bill Lee Permits To-Go and Delivery Wine Sales in TN

Sealed wine sales are now permitted in the state of TN by restaurants selling to-go and delivery orders.

Please read this pdf for the entire declaration.

It is very important you abide by the stipulations in this document.

Governor Lee issued Executive Order No. 17. This Order goes into effect at 12:01 am on March 23, 2020 and is in effect until April 6, 2020.

Restaurants and Limited-Service Restaurants (bars) may sell alcohol to go (takeout or delivery) under the following conditions.

  • Alcohol must be sold in conjunction with a food order.
  • Alcohol must be in a secure container with a lid designed to prevent the customer from consuming while driving.
  • Wine and beer may be sold by the bottle, but spirits may not be sold by the bottle. Spirits can be sold by the drink.
  • Licensees must prominently post warning re: open containers at their location. CLICK HERE FOR SIGN TO BE PRINTED AND POSTED
  • Employee or contractor (delivery services) making delivery or sale must be twenty-one (21) years of age and have a valid driver’s license.
  • Valid government ID must be inspected by the employee or contractor.
    Alcohol cannot be sold to anyone under the age of twenty-one (21) or visibly intoxicated.
  • Sales shall occur during normal state-mandated hours of 8 AM-3 AM Monday through Saturday and 10 AM-3 AM or 12P-3AM on Sundays (depending on your municipality.)

Also, please note that beer below 8% ABW is regulated by local beer boards. At this time, Metro Nashville Beer Board and Memphis Alcohol Commission have passed emergency rules allowing for the sales of beer by delivery and takeout.

FAQs FROM TENNESSEE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION – taken from this email from Hospitality TN

This blog post from Waller Law is also very helpful.

Q: During what times may I deliver alcohol or offer it to go?
A: During the times that the typical business hours of your establishment.

Q: If I run out of alcohol, can I buy alcohol from package stores?
A: No. You may only purchase alcoholic beverages from a licensed wholesaler?

Q: Will the 15% LBD tax apply to sales made pursuant to this order?
A: Please address all tax questions to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Q: If I am a hotel, caterer or other type of LBD other than a restaurant, am I covered by this order and may I sell alcohol for off-premises consumption?
A: No. This order only applies to establishments licensed as full-service restaurants, wine only restaurants, and limited-service restaurants.

Q: If I have a wine only restaurant within a retail food store, can customers consume glasses or bottles of wine purchased at the wine only restaurant throughout the food store?
A: No. Such activity is prohibited via a statute separate from the general prohibition on selling for off-premises consumption and this separate provision is not affected by this executive order?

Q: Does an employee who will be delivering or selling to go alcohol need a server permit?
A: Not at this time, no.

Q: Can I deliver alcohol and sell it to go after April 6?
A: No, unless this executive order is extended past April 6 or a new executive order authorizing such activity after April 6 is issued.

Q: Can I sell bottles of spirits?
A: No, bottles of wine may be sold and individual servings containing spirits, but you may not sell bottles of spirits.

Q: Must I sell food with every order containing alcohol?
A: Yes, at least some items of food must be sold in every order containing alcohol.

Q: Must we physically touch identification to verify age?
A: No, any reasonable visual inspection will suffice.

Q: Do I need an additional license, permit or permission to deliver?
A: No.

Q: Can I sell bottles of spirits?
A: No, bottles of wine may be sold and individual servings containing spirits, but you may not sell bottles of spirits.

Q: If my city prohibits the delivery of beer, may I still deliver beer pursuant to this executive order?
A: Yes. The executive order supersedes any local ordinance to the contrary. However, a city may be able to allow activity related to beer that goes beyond what is authorized by this executive order.

Q: What must the warning that is required to be posted pursuant to the executive order include?
A: The warning must include this language: “No driver shall consume any alcoholic beverage or beer or possess an open container of alcoholic beverage or beer while operating a motor vehicle in this state.” A sample will be posted on the TABC website soon at

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