HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >

Discussion

Restaurants / PA LCB / distributors – how does this work?

  • p

Some restaurants pick up their own wine and spirits at a local LCB store, while others seem to have it delivered (or is that only SLO wine orders?). Do distributors deliver to the restaurants or does a third party deliver? Can all products be delivered or only SLO wines? Are there special LCB outlets for restaurants only where they can pick up their products? I’m trying to get my mind around this. Anyone out there understand these procedures?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I do not believe that the PLCB delivers to anyone. Wine is picked up at the state store by a representative of the restaurant/bar - I guess that can be anyone (ie: third party) Restaurants and bars pay the same price for their alcohol as the rest of us. There are no case or wholesale discounts. There are no special "licensee" pick up locations. Beer dsitributors (independent - not state) deliver to restaurants and bars. Archaic.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Bigley9

      and "limited wineries" may sell directly to restaurants, etc. and to people and deliver directly to them.
      http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/portal/ser...

      1. re: Bigley9

        Correct me if I am wrong, but restaurants/bars do NOT pay the same as the rest of us. They get a small discount. I'm not sure exactly how much. 5%? 10%?

        1. re: ShakenNotStirred

          You are correct. We are importers and distributors in PA. restaurants reveive a 10% discount before tax. however, the 10% is taken off our wholes sale amount before the freight and LCB markupsand PA 6% sales tax are added so it appears to be only about 6%. Only transporters licensed by the LCB can deliver to LCB stores--for SLO (special liquor orders) and then the restaurant or a representative for them picks up ther order there. The SLO are taken directly from the distributor's warehouse, labeled, and either driven locally or shipped. The orders can be delivered to any of the State licensed Wine and Spirits store or there are a few warehouses licensed where SLO can be picked up but no alcohol is sold in these. Other products that are listed--sold off the shelf in the stores--are delivered directly to one of the 3 licensed PA warehouse thatat are used to distribute all products purchased directly by the LCB for their stores. The LCB choses the transporters; orders are then picked up for delivery to the individual stores. Hope i didn't confuse you too much!

      2. re: Bigley9

        I am a licensee. There are pick up locations specifically for licensees. Not all licensees pick up at these locations, but most of the larger ones do. There are services that deliver to restaurants. Only a handful of licensees use this service. There is a 7% discount on listed items for licensees. The 8% state sales tax is then added.

        1. re: tbl42

          I once tried to buy some wine that was listed as only being in stock at the licensee location at twenty-something-th and Washington. Absolutely hilarious hi-jinks ensued, as seemingly every employee there tried to find a reason *not* to make the sale. Did get my wine, after nearly an hour.

        2. re: Bigley9

          correct. NOONE delivers directly to a restaurant or consumer--the LCB controls everything. There is a wholesale discount for retailers of 10%.

        3. I have a friend who's a wine importer and all his PA sales go through a local LCB store. He "sells" to the restaurant but delivers the wine to the LCB store. The restaurant pays the LCB and the LCB then pays him.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Den

            he doesn't need a "Distributor" for that? I thought all wines (except "limited wineries", as Bigley9 pointed out). I guess that would eat in to your profits though

            1. re: Den

              yes, the LCB pays the importer/distributor in about 6 weeks. it is nice because we do not have to worry about collecting the tax or not being paid by a client. This is also true when the LCB ordes directly from the importer/distributor. If wine comes in from over seas, an approved LCB transporter picks up at teh dock, delivers the wine to the appropriate warehouse (Phila. Pgh. or Scranton) and the wines are distributed to the stores from the warehouse (for listed products only.)

            2. I have heard of delivery services who bring wine from the LCB store to the restaurant...saves the restaurant from having to send people in a truck to go shopping. Del Frisco's in Philly told us that is what they do.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mddletown

                how does that work? Can anyone pick up and deliver on the request of the Restaurant? Do you know the name of the company that delivers? thanks

                1. re: Piko

                  Each licensee can name up to three people to pick up their order. The licensee names a delivery service employee as one of their three. So technically, the delivery guy is an "employee" of the licensee. The delivery service charges the licensee a fixed amount per case delivered. I do not know the names of any of these delivery services, but if you ask at the liquor warehouse, they can probably provide names and contact info for you.

                2. re: mddletown

                  yes, that is possible only if the delivery saervice is licensed by the LCB as a transporter and the restaurant has notified the store that they are picking up for them.