Top tips: door-to-door alcohol deliveries

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Boost for the business: Alcohol delivery offers a new revenue stream
Boost for the business: Alcohol delivery offers a new revenue stream

Related tags: Licensing, Beer, Alcoholic beverage

Over the past couple of years, we have received an increasing number of queries from operators considering an alcohol home delivery service.

This is a growing industry and increasing numbers of consumers are choosing to have their meals and refreshments delivered directly to their door.

At the same time, the impact of such services on the local community is starting to receive greater scrutiny from local authorities. This is primarily due to the potential for impact on the licensing objectives of preventing public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

In our experience, authorities are often concerned with noise nuisance from delivery drivers and also ensuring that alcohol does not find its way in to the hands of underage customers, but there are other factors to be considered.

If home delivery is something you want to take advantage of then think about how it will be managed to ensure you fully comply with the law. If in doubt, take legal advice.

  • You need to consider where the sale of alcohol is actually taking place. ­The Licensing Act treats the sale as taking place where the alcohol is specifically selected for sale, eg, the bar. But for a delivery sale this may be a store room, so you need to make sure this area is also authorised for the sale of alcohol. Otherwise, a new premises licence or a variation to your existing licence may be required
  • If the premises is already licensed, ensure it permits sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises and check there are no conditions restricting what you want to do. You should also ensure that the off-sales only take place during the permitted hours
  • You cannot sell alcohol from a vehicle that moves from place to place (eg, a van), unless each individual location is licensed
  • Whether you are looking at a new home delivery service or changing an existing operation to include it, Government guidance recommends you speak to the licensing authority on whether it considers any conditions may be appropriate. Also check the local licensing policy for advice
  • If you are using a delivery company, review the procedures it has in place to ensure alcohol is not delivered to underage or intoxicated persons. Many companies have their own procedures for the delivery of alcohol to ensure that recipients are suitable to accept it. You should check and be satisfied with their procedures
  • ­Think about the delivery drivers – whether directly employed by you or through another company. You will need to ensure that nuisance does not occur from people collecting from your premises for delivery. Some operators have policies to ensure people involved in the delivery are aware of the law and their expected behaviour

For any legal enquiries please visit Poppleston Allen's website​.

Related topics: Legislation

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