Tuesday 6 December 2016

Deliveroo dodges 'grey area' on home sales of alcohol with new delivery service

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 20/07/2016 | 11:48

Alcohol, stock photo
Alcohol, stock photo

On-demand food delivery service Deliveroo is expanding into alcohol delivery.

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Following a successful trial earlier this year, the Irish branch of the start-up has launched a wine and beer delivery service that operates in the same way as the existing food delivery service.

The prospect of home alcohol delivery raises concerns over people under the age of 18 exploiting the service and purchasing alcohol illegally.

Deliveroo has said that its staff will be asking for ID from all customers that appear under the age of 25.

While home delivery of alcohol is legal, the acceptance of cash payments for such deliveries is an illegal practice.

A report compiled by the Government Alcohol Advisory Group in 2008 noted that “services which involve payment on delivery of alcohol products are illegal and the offending licensed premises should be prosecuted”.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald cited the report in response to a parliamentary question last year, adding that “payment must be made in such cases as part of the transaction, e.g. on-line shopping, and not later on delivery of the product”.

The Department of Justice has described it as a complex area because it is “extremely difficult” for An Garda Síochána to detect an offence when it occurs at a private property.

However, Deliveroo has said they will not be accepting cash payments for any of their deliveries, alcohol or otherwise.

“Customers will be able to pay for alcohol orders through our website and app, like they would our normal delivery service,” a spokesperson for the company told Independent.ie.

“We won't facilitate cash transactions for these orders or our traditional food orders.” 

Deliveroo customers can select from a range of wine and beer merchants including Baggot Street Wines, Fresh supermarkets and Galway Bay Brewery.

The service is currently limited to customers in Dublin, but Oliver Dewhurst, country manager for Deliveroo Ireland, said the company plans to expand their service across Galway, Cork, Limerick and Belfast in the coming months.

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