Note: Sales and delivery of alcohol is tightly regulated; check and follow your state and provincial regulations
Beautiful Nova Scotian wineries Lightfoot & Wolfvillle, Domaine de Grand Pré and Bear River have all recently made the shift to local alcohol delivery, bringing their products to their customers when the customers couldn’t come into their tasting rooms.
It’s a smart move, and they are reaping the rewards of this decision, maintaining a source of income in a challenging market, and providing opportunities for their staff to stay employed and putting their product in the hands of their loyal customers. However, it’s not just the creators (wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries) that can take advantage of alcohol delivery.
For many diners, the restaurant experience is about more than the food. It’s the ambience, the interaction with the staff, and often, the perfect drink that accompanies the perfect meal. Recently, restaurants have been allowed to deliver even more of the restaurant experience to customers’ homes.
Why add alcohol delivery to your restaurant business?
Profit margins. Alcohol has the highest profit margins in the food and beverage industry. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.
Keep your staff employed. In a time in which many restaurants had to close their doors, this adds another opportunity for your staff to continue to work for you. (Note: alcohol delivery is subject to age restrictions.)
Opportunity for upsells and pairings. Expand your services by suggesting a bottle at checkout time, recommending food pairings or cocktail mixes. (Note: most provinces do not allow selling of pre-mixed cocktails outside of the licensed establishment.)
It makes everyone happy. Being able to deliver your product -- and more of your experience -- to their homes means your products and brand are on your customers’ minds.
How to add alcohol delivery to your business
Know your regulations. Check your provincial or state laws around the sale, transport and delivery of alcohol. Even if you are already familiar with them because of your business, most have been updated in the past few months, so take the time to educate yourself.
Seriously, know your regulations. This bears repeating. Be fully informed before you even start. Different provinces and states have rules about what you can sell (e.g. only unopened/still-sealed bottles), and types (e.g. wine and beer only versus hard liquor), as well as whether food must be sold with it, even to dictating the maximum percentage of alcohol cost allowed for the entire sale. And don’t forget to research what the legal age of deliverer/servers is in your area.
Shopify your restaurant, optimize your business. We recommend making your store work for you with a few of our favourite apps. First and foremost, get your site up and running on Shopify.
If you know your customers, you’ll know what they like. Bold has a suite of apps that can help you deliver what they want. Add promotions and sales (again, check regulations), mixes, garnishes, food pairings… the options are unlimited. Why not have a standing subscription for Friday night pizza and wine? Or, if you’re selling a bottle of vodka, upsell at checkout with a celery and a bottle of clamato. Gin? A jar of olives, of course. Be creative.
Let your customers choose between the ease of curbside pickup and the convenience of home delivery. This is easily managed by Zapiet’s Store Pickup and Delivery app.
And finally, our app, Exportify, will put your order information (including all the preferences from Zapiet’s and Bold’s apps) into the format you need to fulfill the orders easily and get them to your customers with the least headaches for you.
From restaurants and bars to the very producers of wine, beer and spirits, it’s a smart move to add alcohol delivery to your business. Once you’ve read up on the laws and put together a plan, you can bring more of what you offer to your customer base, keeping your staff, your customers and your bottom line all feeling good.
Oh, and check your state or provincial laws again. We mean it.
We’d be happy to help. We’re Shopify experts for restaurants.