Selling Alcohol to Go Can Recoup Lost Sales – But Mind the Regulations
COVID’s relationship with the bar and liquor industry is a complex one. On the one hand, the sheer monotony of life under social distancing regulations drives people to purchase more significant alcohol quantities, if only to combat their boredom. On the other hand, those same social distancing policies prevent many bars from serving alcohol to customers at all.
So what’s a bar or restaurant owner to do? The traditional way of operating has been virtually flipped on its head, and businesses have been struggling to keep up and stay competitive while working under these tight guidelines.
Many have begun selling alcohol to-go. When done safely and within state regulations, this can be a great way for restaurant and bar owners to recoup some of the business they’ve been losing due to COVID-19.
Before you jump in to start selling alcohol to-go, make sure you know how to go about it properly:
Check With Your State
The first step is to check with your state regulations to determine what you can legally sell and how you can legally sell it. Not all states even allow alcohol sales. Those that do have their own laws and regulations on how to conduct alcohol sales to go. Since every state’s laws are different, you will need to prioritize this step.
States may have regulations regarding:
- What you can sell
- How it must be labeled
- How much you can sell
- How guests can pick up alcohol
- How it must be packaged
- Whether or not it can be delivered
- How it can be delivered
- When you can sell alcohol to go
Get the Right Tech
Once you have all these questions answered, you can begin planning your strategy. How will you conduct your alcohol sales so that you can keep your customers safe while maximizing profits? To do this, you must have the right technology in place.
You likely won’t need to invest in massive upgrades to all your technology. Sometimes it’s as simple as installing a few software solutions that integrate with your POS:
Download our free ebook: The Future of the Retail and Restaurant Industries
Online and mobile ordering for alcohol
Online and mobile ordering allows customers to place orders at home on their computers or on-the-go from their mobile phones for pickup or delivery. The ease and sheer convenience of this option boosts customer engagement and satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty.
It’s also easy to integrate into your POS and allows you to leverage upselling and cross-selling prompts for additional revenue. These solutions are easy to use, with an intuitive interface for customers. Because of the seamless integration, you can also share data across your systems to help you make more informed business decisions.
If you work in liquor sales, you already know that your liquor inventory is expensive and vulnerable to shrinkage. Restaurants and bars are already struggling, so the last thing you need to worry about is losing money from inventory issues.
With high-quality inventory management technology, however, you can ensure your inventory counts are accurate. Inventory management software helps you monitor inventory levels at every turn and accurately forecast your inventory needs based on historical sales data. When your inventory is reliably monitored and tightly controlled, you can increase profitability and decrease costs.
Not all states allow for delivery when it comes to alcohol to go. If you operate in a state that does, you must make sure your delivery operations work like a well-oiled machine. Every facet should be working together cohesively to ensure your operations run smoothly and efficiently.
You must know where your drivers are at all times and can monitor delivery routes to ensure they are on schedule, and orders are being delivered promptly. Delivery management software can give you a more in-depth look into real-time data and delivery tracking so you can know who your best drivers are, which orders they are managing, and how well everything is running.
With any operation subject to federal regulations, you need to ensure you are going by the book. It’s critical that you check IDs. You can do this manually, but it slows down operations. On top of that, manual ID checking isn’t fool-proof, and IDs can be easily faked.
ID checking software scans the state-issued ID to check whether the customer is of legal drinking age. Not only is this quicker, but it is also much more reliable and accurate.
How NCC Can Help
Every bar and restaurant owner is going through their own unique struggles. It’s a challenge and a balancing act, making sure that both customers and profits are safe. NCC offers high-quality, powerful technology that restaurant and bar owners need to safely, securely, and legally conduct alcohol sales to-go. Our experts are well-versed in your industry and can guide you on the right technology for your unique situation. For more information on how NCC can help your business, contact our experts today.