Skip the Dishes testing out alcohol delivery in Winnipeg

A popular food delivery website is now adding booze to its growing list of options Winnipeggers can order.  Skip the Dishes is an app-based service that allows users to scroll through menus from participating restaurants, pubs and stores and have their orders delivered to their door.

Now, it’s launched a pilot project in Winnipeg that will allow users to also have beer, wine and spirits delivered.  “With over a million meals delivered in Winnipeg, it made perfect sense to add liquor stores to our network,” said SkipTheDishes co-founder Andrew Chau. “Winnipeggers have been asking to get a bottle of wine or beer with their takeout, and now you can get both delivered within the SkipTheDishes app.”  Payment for the order must be done through a credit card on the website or the app and is processed at the retailer. Pre-payment helps to ensure the safety of the company’s delivery drivers and also track orders. Upon delivery, a valid ID matching the name of the user who placed the order must also be shown.

“We’ve been working for months with the government to make sure we are set,” Director of Marketing Kendall Bishop said. “That includes things like checking id at the door, making sure it matches the name on the order and that they are of legal drinking age.”  The drivers must all have the Smart Choices training. The program focuses on current laws, safety requirements, and responsible strategies when serving or selling liquor. The drivers would also be responsible for checking id’s at the door when they deliver the order.

Alcohol delivery is not new in Manitoba. However, the Liquor and Gaming Authority (LGA) of Manitoba said this is the first time a third party delivery agent has been able to do it.  “It’s been legal for all retailers to do this but in the past year we have seen more and more interest in it,” Kristianne Dechant from the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba said. “Only a place where you could go and actually buy a bottle of wine or beer and take it home with you… only those retailers are allowed to deliver.”

The LGA said it also does spot checks to makes sure servers, bartenders and liquor stores are actually checking people’s identification.  In 2015/2016 1,900 age control identification checks were done around Manitoba.  The LGA said it is able to do spot checks for delivery services the same it would at bars or liquor stores.  “We are still working on protocols and procedures about this but it is something we have the ability to do,” Dechant said. “Our inspectors can inspect any piece of the retailer’s delivery and that includes the delivery service.”

Delivery will be available from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, and the delivery fee starts at $3.49.

Skip the Dishes also said there are no restrictions on how much alcohol a person can order at once.

Pilot beer and wine stores include Kenaston Wine Market, La Boutique Del Vino, Calabria Market & Wine Store, Shrugging Doctor Brewing Company, Half Pints Brewing Company, Torque Brewing and Pembina Hotel.  A nationwide roll-out of liquor delivery to other Canadian and US markets is planned for the coming months.

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