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BYOW vs. THTR


George W.
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It has now been a few months since the legality of BYOW and Take Home The Rest (THTR) has been in effect. Except for paying my tabs I really know nothing about the financial side of the restaurant business, however, I remain puzzled and hope someone can help. I can understand the mixed feelings about BYOW and they have been well documented but I fail to see why every restaurant doesn't sign up to allow patrons to THTR - to me it seems like they can't lose. Personally I can see ordering a second (or more) bottle from the restaurant's wine list knowing that if I didn't finish it I could have it corked and take it away. Similarly perhaps you want a white and a red and if not finished THTR. There should be no charge for this, in fact restaurants should be encouraging it - I see no economic down side.

The only financial cost that I see (and here I am sure many of you will set me straight) is the restaurant must purchase a proper re-corking tool to drive the cork flush with the bottle top. I read a review a few weeks ago where it was suggested that these gadgets cost in the "thousands" - I can not believe this. I have seen listings for low volume re-corkers under $50 and given that the number of bottles to be re-corked in any night is likely to be small I think most restaurants could afford something like that. In any case, I think the investment is small if they can sell more of their wines. What am I missing?

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Yes, it is silly if they won't seal up the leftover wine for you, like a doggy bag for the cranium.

A few years ago I would hear that leftover wine was kept in the kitchen for cooking purposes, but I doubt if that would be allowed now in politically correct cities. Who knows what the customer might have put into the half empty bottle?

And then, I heard that all wine dregs went into a common receptacle for the staff.

This would guarantee a good hangover the next day...

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Yet another one of Toronto's ridiculous aspects. I agree 100%, I cannot see any downside to the restaurant. It would certainly prompt me to order two different bottles if my dining companion and I were matching wine to different food, rather than settling on something that sort of went with both.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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I think it's more to do with the question of liability than anything else.

That particular part of this legislation hasn't really been thought out properly as far as I can see.

"nil illigitimum carborundum"

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But you wuold think it would decrease some aspects of liability. With patrons not feeling obligated to finish a bottle, there is a decrease in likelyhood of drinking home intoxicated. For ths reason alone, one would think that they would make an effort to recork.

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Indeed. If the bottle is recorked properly when you leave the restaurant, where do you think liability would come into it, or am I missing your point, nondoctor?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Although to my knowledge it hasn't happened yet, what happens when someone leaves with 1/2 a bottle and opens it with their own corkscrew outside the establishment... who is liable for this?

"nil illigitimum carborundum"

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who comes to a restaurant with a corkscrew? If you wanted another glass why not just drink it in the resto? why open it again in the parking lot? to drink it whilst driving home perhaps? you sir are most clearly at fault. The restaurants are as culpable for your overdrinking in that particular case as they would be for your overeating if they made a dessert you found irresistible. There comes a point where people really do have to be responsible for their own actions.

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

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Since when do idiots take responsibility for there actions though? Even without the BYOB thing, I think all restaurants should be required to recork. However I do understand why restaurants want clearly defined laws regarding liability. All it takes is one idiot, and one frivolous lawsuit, and even if the outcome is in favour of the restaurant, it's going to be quite a blow financially to that establishment.

That being said, I think there is way more danger for a lawsuit where someone feels obligated to finish a bottle, and drives home drunk, as opposed to opening the bottle outside the restaurant.

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How amusing that people are trying to apply common sense to liquor laws!

ALL licensed restaurants are now part of THTR - it comes with the license. The only requirement is to ensure the cork is flush with the top of the neck. (BYOW is an endorsement to the license which must be applied for - no fee).

But many (most?) restaurants just aren't aware of the license changes anyway.

And it's not necessary to have a recorking machine (cheap models around for around $25) - just push the cork back in (did this recently with a corked wine I took to a BYOB - one of the hazards). And got a refund at the LCBO.

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... And it's not necessary to have a recorking machine (cheap models around for around $25) - just push the cork back in (did this recently with a corked wine I took to a BYOB - one of the hazards). And got a refund at the LCBO.

Sorry, did I hear you right? You had a bottle of corked wine, re-corked it and took it back to LCBO and got a full refund? Didn't know you could do that.

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... And it's not necessary to have a recorking machine (cheap models around for around $25) - just push the cork back in (did this recently with a corked wine I took to a BYOB - one of the hazards). And got a refund at the LCBO.

Sorry, did I hear you right? You had a bottle of corked wine, re-corked it and took it back to LCBO and got a full refund? Didn't know you could do that.

The LCBO is very, very good about refunding corked wine, flat beer, or any inferior product. I returned a cab last night -- it was effervescent. Estufarian is quite correct in both that, and the licence stipulations of the BYOB project.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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The LCBO is very, very good about refunding corked wine, flat beer, or any inferior product.  I returned a cab last night -- it was effervescent.  Estufarian is quite correct in both that, and the licence stipulations of the BYOB project.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the LCBO sends the bill for a returned bottle to the agent.

They may have got a rep for being sticklers about returns in the old days, when they insisted on analysing a returned bottle, and refunding your money if had a lab-proved defect, or an obvious tasting fault.

Years ago, I returned a '62 ist growth but dead burgundy to the store on Market Street. The sales clerk, John MacDonald, was not at all happy to take it back. Two days later the manager, Mr. Jarvi, called me and said it was sound, and I could come and get it. When I got there, MacDonald handed it over, and sniffed: "At least you can use it for cooking."

I took it home, and it was great!. All it needed was a few days aeration!

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estufarian makes an excellent point: "ALL licensed restaurants are now part of THTR - it comes with the license. The only requirement is to ensure the cork is flush with the top of the neck. (BYOW is an endorsement to the license which must be applied for - no fee)."

So although the BYOW and re-corking were legitimized at the same time they are really uncoupled, i.e., any place that sells wine can re-cork.

I thought I read someplace that the re-corking had to be done by the restaurant staff, if that is not so then presumably we can all just jam the corks back in flush ourselves and THTR. I am still puzzled that restaurants are not encouraging THTR.

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