Starting Wednesday, DoorDash drivers will be required to scan the front of a customer's identification card with the DoorDash app to verify their identity and age prior to handing off an alcohol delivery order, the company said in an email to Restaurant Dive. Drivers will also be required to check for any signs of intoxication prior to completing the order.
Customers will receive reminders about the requirement to show their IDs at the door when the delivery is underway.
The enhanced delivery feature, which was piloted in Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Phoenix, Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Northern Virginia, comes about ten months after DoorDash expanded alcohol delivery into 20 states and Washington, D.C.
With the expansion of to-go alcohol across multiple states, alcohol enforcement agencies have noted an erosion of compliance with liquor ID laws stemming from alcohol delivery. Virginia agents last year, for example, conducted at least 52 decoy operations in which they ordered alcohol to be delivered to underage buyers. During that exercise, 32 underage buyers ended up with alcohol.
The new process builds on DoorDash's existing safety features, which includes ID verification, offering customers the option to opt out from alcohol delivery and providing alcohol safety resources to its drivers, according to the press release.
"With today's announcement of two-step or dual ID verification, we're setting a new industry standard for responsible alcohol delivery," Erik Ragotte, DoorDash's general manager of alcohol, said in the press release. "The new safety measures will help ensure alcohol is delivered to people over the age of 21. We will continue to innovate and find even more ways to promote responsible alcohol delivery."
As of September 2021, DoorDash offered delivery of about 30,000 SKUs of alcohol, including to-go drinks from restaurants, grocery stores, retailers and convenience stores. The company said alcohol delivery can help boost average customer order values by an estimated 30% for grocers and restaurants and by over 50% for convenience stores. Dashers also earned almost 30% more on deliveries with alcohol than on non-alcohol deliveries in Q4 2021, according to the press release.
While DoorDash offers ID verification through its app, rival delivery providers have other safety protocols in place to ensure a safe delivery of alcohol. Grubhub only offers alcohol delivery in 10 markets, and drivers must be aged 21 or older in order to deliver alcohol. They are required to check a valid ID and confirm the customer's age before handing off alcohol, as well as check for signs of intoxication. Drivers can have their accounts suspended if they deliver alcohol to minors or someone who is visibly intoxicated.
Richmond Times Dispatch, Colleen Curran - 4/5/22
To-go cocktails and alcohol delivery have been extended for another two years in Virginia.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin has signed two bills, House Bill 426 and Senate Bill 254, sponsored by Del. David Bulova, D-Fairfax, and Sen. John Bell, D-Loudoun, extending the alcohol delivery and to-go cocktail policies put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Delivery and curbside pickup sales were both critical sources of income during most of 2020 and early 2021,” Tom Sullivan, co-owner of Ardent Craft Ales, 3200 W. Leigh St. in Scott’s Addition, said.
The emergency legislation, signed by then-Gov. Ralph Northam during COVID-19, created a lifeline for Ardent and many other restaurants to stay afloat when their doors were shuttered and business plummeted during the early months of the pandemic.
The legislation was set to expire July 1, but the new legislation will extend until July 1, 2024.
“Virginia’s bars and restaurants can rest a bit easier knowing cocktails to-go are here to stay for another two years,” David Wojnar, senior vice president and head of state public policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said in a statement.
“This revenue-generating measure has provided much-needed support for local hospitality businesses and increased convenience for Virginia’s consumers.”
Mike Lindsey offers to-go cocktails and beer at his downtown Richmond restaurants Lillie Pearl, 416 E. Grace St., and Pop’s Market, 415 E. Grace St.
“It gives restaurants some great flexibility in creating sales and as an added guest experience,” Lindsey said. “The demand has gone down a bit since so many people are dining in, but it still creates a great experience for to-go dining.” He also said that offering to-go drinks during the pandemic was an enormous economic help for his business.
The new legislation includes several requirements to ensure safety for to-go cocktails. For example, alcoholic beverages must:
Bulova, who sponsored House Bill 426, said that he was a bit skeptical of continuing to-go cocktails, but discovered that “a lot of my constituents really enjoyed being able to get cocktails-to-go and quite frankly, it continued to help our restaurants.”
“The hospitality industry has suffered greatly since the start of the pandemic, and we want to ensure that the restaurants we love will still be here for years to come,” Bell added.
A stakeholder group came up with the recommendations for how to continue to-go alcoholic beverages in a safe manner for another two years.
“Demand has definitely waned [for delivery] since the peak before vaccines were available,” Ardent’s Sullivan said. “We still offer delivery one day a week and have a group of loyal customers who still love the service.”
During the pandemic, more than 35 states began allowing restaurants and bars to sell cocktails to-go as an economic relief measure.
Since then, 18 states — including West Virginia and Florida, and the District of Columbia — enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, while 12 others such as California, Colorado and Virginia enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.
by: Dean Mirshahi
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginians will be allowed to get cocktails to-go and alcoholic drinks delivered to them until 2024 after the General Assembly passed a bill that one lawmaker called a “lifeline” to small businesses.
The bill, introduced by Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax), creates a third-party license that allows the holder to deliver alcoholic beverages bought from businesses with licenses from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. The legislation received bipartisan support in the legislature and will now go to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk.
Last year, Del. Bulova’s House Bill 1879 allowed takeout and delivery of beverages until July 2022. The new legislation from Bulova during this session extends the sunset on the legislation until July 2024.
Cocktails to-go extended in Virginia until July 2022Bulova’s bill makes way for the third-party delivery license and has provisions establishing container and training requirements.
State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Fairfax) said before Tuesday’s 37-3 vote that the bill came after the Virginia ABC studied the issue and shared a report with lawmakers, a directive that was included in the 2021 legislation.
The new measure from Bulova also directs the Virginia ABC “to collect data regarding the compliance of third-party delivery licensees with the provisions of the bill.” The Virginia ABC will have to report the data to lawmakers by Nov. 1, 2023.
New law going into effect keeps to-go alcohol available in VirginiaState Sen. John Bell (D-Loudoun) introduced an identical bill in the Virginia Senate, which passed on a bipartisan vote. Sen. Bell said Tuesday that he worked with Del. Bulova on the legislation and asked senators to pass the measure because it’s a “lifeline to many small businesses.”
Former Gov. Ralph Northam granted restaurants the authority to sell cocktails to-go during the pandemic after business owners expressed concerns over revenue loss.
“Not only does this measure provide increased convenience for consumers, but it also gives bars and restaurants a stable source of revenue as they work to recover from the pandemic,” David Wojnar, senior vice president and head of state public policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said in a statement Tuesday.
Bloomberg Tax, December 29, 2021
Earlier this year, our Insights and Commentary team asked what tax practitioners needed to know—from tax tips to topics to watch out for—to start the new year off right. This week, we’re publishing some of the best submissions.
This tip was submitted by Jeff Carroll of Avalara.
For anyone not paying attention over the past year, beverage alcohol has become the most dynamic and interesting sector to track—a classic example of technology enabling shifts in consumer preference during a historic era, enabling transformative business growth, with compliance trailing close behind. Here’s a snapshot.
Marketplaces and delivery apps (i.e. Drizly, Instacart, DoorDash) are now pervasive. Home delivery of alcohol is here to stay. Consumers expect more options, faster, paving the way for more third-party providers—cue acquisitions by Uber et al. Look for more explosive growth in 2022, and moves by alcohol agencies to either regulate these entities, or take a lighter touch, focusing solely on priorities like preventing underage delivery.
Cocktails-to-go laws passed overnight in many regions during COVID to help restaurants and bars stay afloat. Now it’s decision time for states—sunset or let ‘em ride? Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have made cocktails-to-go permanent; California and others are extending provisions; some, like New York, are sunsetting. States that recently expanded options for bars, breweries, distilleries, restaurants and wineries are unlikely to walk them back. 2022 will feature ramped-up compliance enforcement around age verification and delivery agents.
Stay tuned as innovation meets regulation.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. or its owners.
Author InformationJeff Carroll is general manager for Avalara for Beverage Alcohol. Jeff regularly speaks about and advises customers on beverage alcohol compliance issues, particularly in the areas of direct shipping and sales tax.
August 26, 2021 - National Restaurant Association
Pandemic-inspired policies become permanent in 16 states and D.C.; another 14 pass temporary measures
When the pandemic temporarily shuttered dining rooms in 2020, more than 35 states issued emergency orders allowing to-go sales of cocktails and other alcoholic beverages—an important lifeline for struggling restaurants. At its pandemic high point, 39 states permitted cocktails-to-go in some way.
In many locales, cocktails-to-go are here to stay—a decision that consumers and operators are toasting. Currently, 16 states and Washington, D.C. have made cocktails-to-go permanent; 14 passed temporary measures extending their policies, according to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Restaurant Industry Mid-Year Report, which released Aug. 26.
The 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Mid-Year Update is now available for download
El Arroyo in Austin, Texas, is among those restaurants that embraced the change, selling margaritas-to-go accompanied by chips and salsa. “Alcohol-to-go is exactly what restaurants need and Texans want,” Ellis Winstanley, president of Cozumel Empresas, the holding company for El Arroyo, told the Texas Restaurant Association. “Restaurants are about experiences, and alcohol-to-go lets restaurants give their customers a more complete experience in the comfort of their home.”
In states where alcohol-to-go is legal, 89% of operators who can serve alcohol are selling it, according to an Association survey last year. The high-margin drinks are boosting the bottom line for many operators. On average, 5% to 10% of off-premises sales can come from alcohol-to-go, the report states.
Three tips on how to build an alcohol-to-go program with staying power:
1. Learn your local regulations. Find out which alcoholic beverages can be served to-go, including any limits on the alcohol content per drink and the number of drinks. Some states require food to be sold along with the order. Some allow only carryout. Others prohibit third-party delivery specifically. Be sure to comply with any packaging requirements. For example, Georgia requires that cocktails be in a sealed tamper-evident container with no openings or straw holes and with a label that identifies the business that made the cocktail. Be aware of when any temporary extensions expire, and check whether your local jurisdiction has any regulations that supersede state law.
2. Promote your portable potables. Use social media and email marketing to let the public know you offer one-stop shopping for their dining and drinking pleasure. A recent email from California Pizza Kitchen invites customers to “enjoy happy hour to go” by adding wine or beer to their favorite takeout meals. Highlight your cocktails, beer selection and wine list online, giving tips on food pairings. When the holidays roll around, consider offering package deals that include a bottle of champagne or a cocktail kit.
3. Serve responsibly. Train your staff to check customer IDs for pickup and delivery orders; verify that the purchaser is 21 or older. Never provide alcohol to anyone visibly intoxicated. If your local jurisdiction allows third-party delivery of alcohol, work closely with these delivery companies to ensure they follow proper procedures. The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Alcoholprogram provides training on responsible alcohol service.
This article is brought to you by Sage Intacct, sponsor of the National Restaurant Association's State of the Restaurant Industry Mid-Year update