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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Food, drinks are tax-free at Tennessee restaurants this weekend

For the first time ever, Tennessee is offering a tax-free weekend for restaurants.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — All Tennessee restaurants are tax-free starting Friday for food and drinks, including alcohol.

This is the first time the state has done a tax-free restaurant weekend. It comes one weekend after the tax-free shopping weekend.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue hopes by the state doing this, it will provide a little boost to local restaurants that are struggling to operate during the pandemic.

“It’s been something I could never have imagined," BJ Chester-Tamayo, owner of Alcenia's Restaurant in Downtown Memphis, said of the pandemic.

She said it's only "by the grace of God" that she remains open for carry-out only. To stay afloat, she said she's started to sell more products online.

“I went on to Facebook and just asked my customers. I’m just being honest, I’m not going to make it with takeout only," she said. "I need for you to order my product.”

While business continues to stay slow, she's hopeful the tax-free weekend will help some.

“I am hopeful," she said. "When you’re in business, I’m hoping everyday somebody walks through that door because $10 is better than no dollars - so very hopeful that they will. Just hoping that they will know about it or they will come out.”

But she's hesitant to get too hopeful. Considering she didn't know many details about the promotional weekend, she doubts many others will know either.

"A lot of people might not know because this is the first time that it has ever happened for a restaurant, whereas with clothing, people look for that every year," she said. 

It’s the first tax-free weekend for restaurants in TN

#DidYouKnow it’s the first ever tax-free weekend for restaurants in Tennessee? Starting today people will not have to pay taxes on food or drinks. The state hopes it will bring a boost to struggling restaurants.

Posted by Jalyn Souchek Local 24 Memphis on Friday, August 7, 2020

People don't have to dine-in to qualify for tax-free meals. It also works for carry out, so save a few bucks while supporting local restaurants.

Tax-free weekend runs through midnight on Sunday.