The Margs Are Free: The Rules and Regulations of Alcohol Delivery
In 2020, Governor Abbott granted restaurants the ability to sell mixed beverages to go as part of a special pandemic waiver. In 2021, the Texas Restaurant Association, its members, and other business groups helped make this new idea a law. Now, Texans are able to purchase beer, wine, cocktail kits, and mixed beverages to go from their favorite restaurants. This panel will go over the rules and regulations of the law and share best practices for what's selling the best and how to keep people coming back for more.
Kelsey Erickson Streufert
Kelsey Erickson Streufert is the Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy for the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA). Kelsey joined TRA in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, making quick work of her experience at the Texas Capitol to drive recovery and relief efforts for the restaurant sector.
Prior to joining TRA, Kelsey served as general counsel for Texas State Senator Kirk Watson where she managed 48 bills that became law over three legislative sessions. During the most recent session, Kelsey developed, negotiated, and successfully advocated for two high-profile government transparency bills that passed despite interest from over 100 diverse stakeholders. The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas awarded Kelsey their James Madison Award in 2019 for this accomplishment—an award that was previously bestowed upon Greg Abbott, Bob Bullock, Evan Smith, and Barbara Jordan.
A double Longhorn, Kelsey graduated at the top of her class from UT Austin with her Bachelor of Arts in Government and, six years later, her law degree. While in law school, Kelsey also represented clients directly in the Capital Punishment Clinic and in the Civil Rights Clinic. Kelsey spent her last semester as an undergraduate student in Washington, D.C. as a Bill Archer Fellow where she interned for NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Ellis Winstanley is the President of El Arroyo, a Tex-Mex, consumer products and packaged foods brand based in Austin, Texas as well as Axial Commerce, a performance operations software platform that services the restaurant industry. Ellis has spent the last twenty years turning around, starting up and growing restaurants and restaurant technology brands as well as developing real estate and building brands through branded products initiatives. Ellis was active in supporting the restaurant industry throughout COVID, especially with regard to alcohol-to-go from the beginning of regulatory relief through the passing of alcohol-to go-legislation, and through El Arroyo has played a significant role in the programs overall success.
Blanca Aldaco opened the restaurant in 1989 at its original Commerce Street location. The restaurant quickly grew to be a local favorite and in 1999, Aldaco’s moved to their current, much larger, location at historic Sunset Station. In March 2008, Aldaco’s in the Stone Oak area opened it’s doors, fulfilling a dream of building and operating a restaurant in the north side of San Antonio.
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Blanca’s name has become synonymous with authentic Mexican cuisine. Her contributions have elevated the taste and style of the city’s cuisine offerings and have helped to bring national recognition to San Antonio as the undisputed capital of Mexican food. Aldaco’s has grown to be a favorite destination for San Antonians looking to savor our unique Avocado Margarita, Arrachera a la Brava or Original Pastel Tres Leches.
As President, Brendan will set the strategic direction for Rusty Taco and is responsible for the growth and success of the brand's company-owned restaurants as well as its relationships with the Rusty Taco franchise community.