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Alcohol Delivery Services: Taking a Look at the Convenience and Concerns

Updated on May 25, 2020
Marcy Bialeschki profile image

Marcy is a school counselor at an alternative school in Illinois and a part-time bartender who loves writing in her spare time.

Making a Case for Alcohol Delivery

Alcohol delivery? Really? Is this a service people need? Probably not, but this fast-growing niche market seems to deliver -- literally -- what people want. Why are all kinds of delivery services, not just alcohol, becoming so popular? Are we busier than people of previous generations? I don't think so. But we have become accustomed to the conveniences that make our lives easier. In today's world, we have instant access to just about anything with our smartphones and the internet, and waiting has become a nearly obsolete annoyance.

But one could argue, if people spent less time on their phones and more time actively doing things like shopping, we would not need delivery services. Yet, most people would agree there is no going back to life before immediacy was valued above all else. Alcohol delivery is just one more example of our growing need for such conveniences. Even if you think alcohol delivery is unnecessary, let's take a look at a few instances when having alcohol delivered to your door could be a game-changer as well as some of the controversy surrounding this growing business.

Stay home and have the fun delivered to you.
Stay home and have the fun delivered to you.

Controversy and Legality

One controversy with alcohol delivery is the legality. Some states simply won't allow it; however, the success of the practice has made many of these skeptics take another look. The biggest issue or concern is probably age verification. As a result, all of the operating alcohol delivery companies have security measures in place to keep people from breaking the law. Of course, they all require the person receiving the delivery to show their ID. Most companies take security a step further by requiring that the person ordering the alcohol and the person receiving the delivery be identified as the same person. A few companies even need the person receiving the shipment to present the card it was ordered on as another identity measure. One company, Drizly, equips its drivers with an ID scanner to easily verify age and detect fake ID's

Instacart, one of the most extensive alcohol delivery services, also takes an additional precaution regarding alcohol delivery. They claim their drivers are trained professionals from companies such as Post Mates and Door Dash. These professionals will not leave an order with a visibly impaired person. True, each assessment is subjective; however, this policy seems like an ethical practice. Most companies simply return the order to the store if it cannot be delivered, and the person's card is not charged. In most cases, though, a delivery fee and sometimes a re-stocking fee will be assessed.

Speaking of ethical practices, one would think alcohol delivery would be a college student's dream. Many college towns have alcohol delivery services, and drivers make legal deliveries to campuses; however, some companies say they do not market to that demographic. Some companies such as Saucey say they have never targeted that group because many college students are not of legal age. When the lines start getting blurred with who is legal and who is not, a responsible alcohol delivery company will step out of the situation. Now that a few obvious concerns have been addressed, let's take a look at some instances where alcohol delivery could be a live-saver.

No one needs to leave a party like this to get more alcohol. Have it delivered.
No one needs to leave a party like this to get more alcohol. Have it delivered.

Alcohol Delivery Saves the Day

Anyone who as ever planned a large gathering knows there is an endless "To-Do" list, especially the day of the event. Unless you have hired a caterer who is also responsible for the alcohol, you could make your life much simpler by browsing the internet for the alcohol products you want and placing an order online. With that task completed, you are free to move on to other things, knowing your alcohol is on its way, usually delivered within an hour.

Not only is this method faster by saving you the trip to the store and back, but it is also easier. Alcohol bottles and cans are bulky and heavy. If you are having a large party like a wedding, delivery saves your back from having to lug all those boxes to and from the car and anywhere else you have to take them. With delivery, you have the delivery driver take them where you want them and then tip handsomely.

The Safer Beer-Run

It happens at reunions, bar-be-ques, retirement parties, wedding receptions, birthday parties, you name it, it happens -- you run out of alcohol, but the party is still going strong. Having more alcohol delivered is a safe and discrete way to keep the party atmosphere. No one has to leave, and the delivery will probably be faster than someone going to the store.

In fact, the inception of two of today's hottest alcohol delivery services, Saucy and Minicart, occurred when college students needed more alcohol, and no one wanted to go or should have been driving to get it. The conversation probably started like this: "Wouldn't it be cool if we could just order what we want, and someone would bring it to us?" Yep! Sure would, and these somewhat innocent thoughts grew into one of the fastest-growing niche' markets today.

Again, alcohol delivery, in this instance, is not only convenient; there is another more critical reason to use delivery. Drinking and driving is dangerous and even deadly. Staying put and paying a $5 delivery fee and a tip seems like the ethical and obvious choice.

Never run out. Have more sent right to your door. No driving. It's a no-brainer!
Never run out. Have more sent right to your door. No driving. It's a no-brainer!

Wrapping It Up

Before you get too excited about making that first order, alcohol delivery is still a relatively new service, coming on the scene in about 2012. The shelter-in-place rules in the states have boosted its popularity, for sure. However, even larger venues such as Instacart have restrictions, and some states don't allow alcohol delivery. If you live in a larger city, you are more likely to be able to access at least one alcohol delivery service as long as state laws allow it.

It's true. Alcohol delivery is somewhat controversial. Yet, most people who have tried this service are impressed with its convenience and plan to continue the practice. As with most modern-day conveniences linked to immediacy, alcohol delivery is probably here to stay.

© 2020 Marcy Bialeschki


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