Beachgoers won't have to even move from their blankets to order something to eat or drink, as a number of restaurants and hotels are gearing up to provide food and beverage service — strictly non-alcoholic — on the city's public beach near their establishments.

Unlike many tourist destinations with beachfront resorts serving patrons on the sand, most of Fort Lauderdale's beach lodgings and eateries are on the west side of State Road A1A and not allowed to deliver to the beach.

It's time for that to change, said Ina Lee, who publishes TravelHost of Greater Fort Lauderdale.

"In terms of our tourism market, to offer that amenity in this stage of our development is essential," Lee said. "It's just natural when you go to the beach, you want to be able to have food and drink."

Beach visitors — whether guests of a hotel or locals enjoying the surf — will be able to go to myftlb.com on their smartphone or tablet to see the menus of and place orders from businesses delivering near them. Each delivery will arrive near the appropriate lifeguard station within 45 minutes of an order being placed.

Delivery personnel will wear uniforms with name tags that also identify their hotel or restaurant. The service will be available from roughly Sunrise Boulevard south to the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, except for the stretch in front of the Bonnet House.

Beach hotels have been seeking such a program for years so they can compete against locations such as Miami Beach, Naples and the tropics, where visitors take beach service for granted.

"It's all about the experience you're going to provide to folks on the beach," said Eduardo Fernandez, general manager of Sonesta hotel near Sunrise Boulevard.

No one's quite sure how the program will run, so officials expect changes will be made. Some beachgoers may choose to walk a longer distance to another lifeguard station served by a restaurant they prefer, or they may pick their spot based on the food they want to eat.

View original article published in the Sun-Sentinel, April 27, 2015
Written by Larry Barszewski, Reporter