Problems at one of Michigan's three authorized liquor distribution companies are causing pre-holiday season headaches for some bars and restaurants and have led the state to get involved.
Republic National Distributing Co. recently moved into a new warehouse in Livonia, and the company said software problems at the new site are delaying deliveries, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission met recently with officials from bars, restaurants, and retailers who have complained and it has told the distributor to fix its problems.
Commission Chairman Pat Gagliardi said in a statement Friday that the agency is holding Republic "accountable on how they plan to fix this situation for our licenses. It's our priority to ensure our licenses have their shelves stocked for the public, especially in advance of the holiday season."
Pam Stigall, the beverage manager at Ale Mary's Beer Hall in Royal Oak, said she has been placing her liquor orders a few weeks in advance in the hopes of reducing the wait time, but orders still run four to five days behind.
"With the upcoming holiday season, it's especially challenging to plan for new menus when availability of product is so unpredictable," she said. "It is my hope that they are able to resolve this problem sooner than later."
After voicing her concern on Facebook, Stigall said Republic reached out to her privately through Facebook Messenger and wrote that it understood her frustration and was doing everything it could to fix the problems.
Retailer licensees who are having problems receiving liquor orders timely or not at all from authorized distribution agents can submit a complaint online.