How to Start a Liquor Delivery Business – and Make Money with It?

Liquor delivery business can be a profitable business when done right – and when circumstances allow. It’s an especially tempting expansion for local liquor stores or restaurants currently serving alcohol, especially when COVID-19 restrictions limit on-premises sales. So, entrepreneurs eyeing alcohol delivery business sales need to do more homework, adhere to all local regulations, and put together a workable business model.

In this blog, we will understand how to start a liquor delivery business.

How to Start an Alcohol Delivery Business in 6 Steps?

Unsure about starting a new alcohol delivery business? These 6 steps will help you develop a new business easily.

1. Follow Legal Procedure

If you want to start up a business to offer liquor delivery services locally, you first need to find out if such a business is legal in your area. There are no national laws regarding liquor delivery services; the business is regulated on a state and local level.

You’ll need to investigate your state and local laws to see if any alcohol delivery is legal. If you are allowed to deliver beer, wine, and liquor, you’ll need to obtain any required licenses to do so. You’ll probably want to bring your lawyer into the discussion at some point.

2. Develop Your Business Model

Once you know you can start a home alcohol delivery business or liquor subscription service, it’s time to develop your business model. This should describe exactly how you’ll do business:

  • What spirits you will sell
  • Where and how you’ll purchase the liquors you sell
  • How you’ll sell alcoholic beverages (probably online via liquor delivery app or website)
  • How you’ll meet the demand for liquor products
  • Will you also deliver alcohol and food items
  • How you’ll generate revenues – will you have pickup/delivery fees, processing fee, subscription fees, etc.

You should also include any other ways you might generate revenue, such as selling premium subscriptions or offering a “beer of the month” club for recurring revenues.

3. Will You Use a Third-party Service or Do it by Yourself?

When you plan to offer alcohol delivery service, you need to determine how you will implement online delivery services. You have two options: hire your own delivery staff and maintain your own fleet of delivery vehicles or contract with another service, such as DoorDash or Minibar, to deliver the items you sell.

The first option is the expensive cost of alcohol delivery which is challenging, but it helps you achieve desired profits over the long term. The second option provides you with full delivery capability on day one, is easier to scale as your business grows, and doesn’t require a big initial investment. You need to make that choice upfront – although you could start by partnering with a delivery service and build your own fleet later.

4. Purchase Inventory and Supplies

As part of your business plan, you should have identified the suppliers you’ll be using. As you get closer to activating your website, you’ll need to stock all the products and supplies you need to fill customer orders. If you run an existing liquor store or dining establishment, you probably already have inventory but might need to-go packaging.

If you’re starting your alcohol delivery business from scratch, you’ll need to set up contracts with suppliers who provide all the items you intend to sell. And make sure they’re okay with selling their product using any other delivery service app.

5. Rent Your Facilities

Chances are, you aren’t working out of your home. That means obtaining a beer, wine, and/or liquor store. If you’re operating out of an existing business, you can skip this step. If you’re starting from scratch, however, you’ll need to research and find facilities in your area to operate out of.

The nice thing about not having a physical store is that you don’t have to rent expensive, high-visibility retail space. Depending on your local zoning laws, you may be able to operate out of cheaper facilities in an out-of-the-way business park or something similar. You won’t need much space, just enough for inventory and a few staff. 

6. Get a Delivery Route Planner

When it comes to the private liquor delivery business, a delivery route planner like Upper plays a significant role in managing the delivery process. From finding cost-effective delivery routes to delivering the parcel on time, Upper assists you in achieving your desired business goals. 

Here are some benefits of using Upper:

  • Upper can help you plan unlimited routes including stops up to 500 and then optimize them within seconds.
  • A feature-rich route planner offers a fully automated process which means there would be no chance of human errors.
  • Drivers get informed prior to the delivery process and they are directed to the destination with the help of map navigation.
  • With Upper, you can send automated delivery notifications to your clients regarding the delivery process.
  • Not only does it help you in managing consumer deliveries but also gives you an in-depth report of driver’s performance.
  • Drivers can record an electronic delivery proof (ePOD) at the end of the successful delivery.

What are Advantages of Alcohol Delivery Business?

Is there money to be made in liquor/alcohol delivery businesses? Yes, there is.

According to IBISWorld research, online wine, beer, and liquor sales in the U.S. comprise a $983 million industry. The online liquor delivery market is growing by 11.6% year over year – yet still represents only 1.8% of all alcohol sales.

In short, home liquor delivery is big and getting bigger but still has lots of room to grow.

  • Desired profit margin

    Alcohol delivery businesses usually have a better profit margin as they require less effort than preparing food. Offering liquor delivery to the customer’s doorstep can help you accomplish your financial goals. When you provide a customer’s favorite liquor drink via an online alcohol delivery app, you are likely to increase the customer base and provide elite customer expectations.

  • Greater customer scope

    Online alcohol delivery is not only limited to your business area as it can be expanded to other states and countries as well. Liquor businesses have the potential to attract regular customers which can provide stable income to your business. Hence, there will always be a good customer scope in this business.

  • Better inventory management

    If you are offering a home delivery service of alcoholic beverages, you can get an overview of your orders using an online ordering system. It can help you track consumer product delivery in such a way that you don’t overspend on inventory. You can encourage your buyers to go after your products in one go using alcohol delivery apps.

How to Hire and Train Your Staff?

One of the nice things about a business that operates primarily online is that you don’t need much staff to run it. You’ll need people to fill orders and make them ready for alcohol delivery, as well as staff to manage your stock. Of course, you’ll also want to hire the right delivery person(s) to help you move your craft beer, wines, cocktail kits, and other spirits as well.

You’ll also need a human being available during business orders to tend to customer service duties and answer questions/concerns that can’t be handled via FAQs and forms on the website.

If you decide to handle your own home deliveries, you’ll have more hiring and training to do. Remember, your delivery drivers will be the physical face of your business, so make sure they’re personable and well versed in what you’re selling. And, since you’re selling alcohol, make sure all your drivers are of legal drinking age.

How can You Promote Your Business?

Before you flip the “on” switch, you need to let potential customers know about your business. That means marketing and promotion, in whatever ways, best reach your target customers. Today the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective way to get the word out is via social media, so make sure you have one or more people on staff who are social media marketing experts. You’ll want to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at least – everywhere your customers gather (virtually).

What is the Best Route Planner for Alcohol Delivery Businesses?

Business owners handling their own liquor delivery services business, it would be challenging if you try to do it manually. A route planning service relieves you of that headache – and gets alcohol delivery orders into customers’ hands that much quicker.

Route planning isn’t as simple as giving an address to a driver. In creating the optimal delivery route, you need to consider all manner of factors, including traffic, weather, and avoidance zones. That’s exactly what Upper Route Planner does.

Upper is the best route planning and optimization software which complies with more than 50 states laws. This means it would take a minimal time for you to expand your business network. 

At Upper, you can simply login and drop the CSV file to plan routes. Then, the system will generate the most efficient routes for your drivers. Whether you’re doing residential liquor delivery or cases to businesses, this digital app solution guides your drivers to reach the destination quickly.

Utilize Upper for Timely Alcohol Deliveries

Tired of manual route planning for liquor deliveries? Switch to Upper Route Planner to get the best routes within seconds. Let the route planner churn out optimized routes and reduce your working hours.

FAQ

Liquor businesses are profitable but ultimately a liquor shop owner needs to consider many factors such as administration laws, consumers, and suppliers’ inventory. According to the Forbes study, alcohol store owners are gaining 1.7% profit.

Yes, below are the additional requirements that your drivers have to fulfill.

  • Previous delivery experience
  • Training certificate (mandatory delivery training course)
  • Copy of employment contract from liquor delivery services company
  • Approved driving license
  • Clean criminal background

A training certificate is considered valid for 2 years from the date of issue. So, when the certificate gets expires after 2 years, drivers need to renew it.

Definitely, your delivery team of drivers needs to comply with local administrative laws. It is a significant factor for your drivers while applying for a license.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved in getting an alcohol delivery startup off the ground. However, all that hard work can be worth it as more and more consumers are shifting from shopping in-store to shopping online liquor apps. As a liquor store owner, if you can offer your customers a superior online shopping and delivery experience, you are likely to be successful.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

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