It can be a great way to expand a business, but it is not without licensing implications, which operators must address to ensure they are fully compliant with the law. Here are some top tips to help, but if you are in any doubt then you should seek legal advice:
- The sale of alcohol by retail via delivery is a licensable activity and will require authorisation under a premises licence or temporary event notice. The premises from which the alcohol is selected for a delivery order is the location that will need to be licensed.
- The premises licence will need to permit off-sales of alcohol and it is important to check the conditions on your premises licence for any restrictions relating to off-sales.
- One of the biggest risks linked to deliveries of alcohol is selling to underage customers. All premises licences include a mandatory condition requiring an age verification policy and there may also be other applicable conditions on the licence. You should consider age verification measures at the point of order (ie, before an order is submitted online or over the telephone) and at the point of delivery.
- If you plan to apply for a new licence or vary an existing licence to permit deliveries then we would always recommend pre-consulting with the responsible authorities.
- If you are agreeing conditions with any authorities then you should consider whether your own staff will be making the deliveries or a third party. You will need to ensure that whoever carries out the deliveries complies with the conditions on your premises licence as the premises licence holder and designated premises supervisor are liable for any breaches of the licence.
- If you use a third-party delivery company then you may wish to check that you are satisfied with the company’s age verification policy and procedures and, if necessary, provide training.
- The sale of hot food and drink between 11pm and 5am hours is also a licensable activity requiring authorisation for late-night refreshment, so if you intend to deliver hot food or drink during these hours then you will need to ensure the premises is licensed for late-night refreshment.
- You cannot sell alcohol out of a vehicle that moves from place to place unless the locations at which the vehicle stops are licensed.