Square providing DTC alcohol delivery

A box of wine sits in a box. It is has card from Hi Lo.

Written by James Shea

Square is offering restaurants, bars, breweries, bottle shops and convenience stores the opportunity to do alcohol delivery.

“We’re excited to offer a new way for restaurants, retailers, and alcohol sellers to get the most out of their current inventory,” said David Rusenko, head of eCommerce at Square. “Whether that’s a restaurant monetizing its wine cellar, a grocery store supplementing their on-premise sales, or a local brewery introducing old favorites to a new crowd, we’re proud to provide our sellers with a new way to make more money.”

On-demand delivery allows sellers to offer alcohol delivery to their customers. When an order is placed on a Square Online ordering page, a DoorDash driver is dispatched to the business location. The driver picks up the order and delivers it to the buyer. Age verification is also done.

The seller pays only a flat fee of $1.50 per order to Square, and a delivery fee to the fulfillment partner.

Dan Chapman, owner of  A.W. Wander Craft Beer and Pizza, a restaurant in Manlius, NY, said that the addition of beer delivery has helped him to grow.

“Craft beer is really our business, so for us to be able to offer our core product commission-free for on-demand delivery is huge,” Chapman said. “That said, there will always be times when customers would rather have a drink at home (and) we don’t want to miss out on that occasion. Adding a couple of beers to food delivery is great for the customer and really meaningful to our bottom line.”

According to Square, alcohol delivery is at the nexus of two big trends — on-demand delivery and eCommerce. A report from Square found that restaurants expect 62% of their revenue to come through online delivery and takeout orders throughout 2021, and local delivery remains a huge opportunity for retailers. Meanwhile, consumers say that 43% of their monthly purchases are now done online.

Alcohol sales are generally 20 to 30% of a restaurant’s revenue and more and more bars and restaurants have turned to delivery of alcohol over the last year. In February, Uber purchased alcohol-delivery service Drizly for $1.1 billion in stock and cash. Many states have loosened alcohol laws, making carry out and delivery of alcohol more of an option.

Businesses seem to think people will return to bars and restaurants for a beer or cocktail but some are convinced that people have fallen in love with the convenience of delivery.

“A majority of my customers are going to be very happy to come back and sit down at the bar and be in an in-person situation,” Chapman said. “But I think there’s always going to be a residual amount of people that have gotten used to laying low, and they actually like the idea of staying home and ordering in and the convenience of it.”

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