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Alcohol delivery is the latest trend to hit the restaurant industry, and all signs indicate that it’s here to stay. Since 2021, more cities and states have been adapting laws to allow the legal delivery of beer, wine, and cocktails. If your Boston restaurant is looking for ways to maximize delivery revenue, this is the perfect option — customers love the option to order drinks with dinner, making alcoholic beverages an easy upsell.

As you start searching for the best alcohol delivery service in Boston, it’s important to understand how the process works. By optimizing your operations for efficiency and legal compliance, you can protect your business and create a better customer experience.

How does alcohol delivery in Boston work?

At Grubhub, we’re proud to offer alcohol delivery in areas that permit the service. We find that it’s an effective way for our restaurant partners to retain loyal customers, boost order value, and gain more customers.

Here’s how beverage delivery works:

  1. Customer places an order. The Grubhub platform allows you to add alcoholic drinks to your menu, so customers can order it with their meals.
  2. Your restaurant prepares the order. Pack the order as usual; keep in mind that when you’re working with Grubhub, it’s important to follow our alcohol packaging and labeling instructions carefully. This means sealing the drink and labeling it as alcoholic. Make sure you understand local and state requirements as well.
  3. Grubhub driver picks up the order. Mark the order as ready for pickup and one of our professional drivers will pick it up and handle the delivery. The driver — who must be 21 or older — will inspect the packaging to make sure it adheres to Grubhub’s standards. They’ll load it into their vehicle in a way that protects the food and drinks, ensuring everything arrives in the best possible condition.
  4. Driver verifies the recipient’s age. Before the Grubhub driver drops off the package containing alcohol, they check the recipient’s age and scan their ID using the Grubhub app. The person who picks up the order must be at least 21 years old, and they must not be visibly intoxicated.
  5. Driver delivers beverages. After the driver completes the age verification and confirms that the person isn’t intoxicated, they’ll hand over the order and mark it as complete. If the person doesn’t meet either condition, the driver won’t deliver the drinks; instead, they’ll deliver the nonalcoholic items and return the alcohol to the restaurant.

At Grubhub, our goal is always to help our restaurants be both profitable and compliant.

Alcohol delivery FAQs

If you’re thinking about adding alcohol delivery to your restaurant, it’s critical to stay updated on the latest legal and industry developments.

Is alcohol delivery legal in Massachusetts?

In April 2024, Massachusetts permanently legalized to-go cocktails for restaurants with alcohol licenses. However, it’s important to note that the new alcohol delivery laws only extend to mixed drinks; restaurants are no longer permitted to offer beer delivery or wine delivery. This is a key change from pandemic-era rules. As the law takes effect, restaurants in the area are adjusting their operations and delivery drink menus accordingly.

Currently, Grubhub allows delivery in a few specific states: 

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Texas (only Austin, Houston, and San Antonio)
  • Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.

What’s the benefit of using Grubhub for delivery in Boston over other delivery service providers?

When you decide to offer food and/or alcohol delivery, choosing the right third-party delivery provider is an essential part of the process. Grubhub is proud to offer industry-leading delivery services to thousands of restaurants in the Boston area.

Some benefits our restaurant partners enjoy include:

  • Convenience. Our technology platform is built to provide a fast, easy experience for both restaurants and their customers. Connect the Grubhub system to your point-of-sale (POS) system using our POS integrations and orders will be sent directly to the kitchen as part of your usual flow. Your customers will love the ultra-convenient ordering process, whether they’re buying a meal or their favorite cocktail; the efficient service keeps them coming back for more.
  • Increased profit. Adding alcohol to your Grubhub menu can provide a serious profit boost. Our data shows alcohol delivery can increase average order value by $15 or more. For Grubhub restaurant partners that accept alcohol orders, about 10% of orders include an alcoholic drink.
  • Business growth. Grubhub boosts your restaurant’s visibility, getting it in front of more customers in your local area. If you choose to expand your delivery offering to include alcohol, you have the potential to attract a wider range of customers and increase delivery orders.

Does Grubhub offer more than alcohol delivery in Boston?

Yes — you can deliver a range of items using Grubhub, including food, flowers, and convenience store items.

Offer your customers the best restaurant delivery experience

In the competitive Boston restaurant industry, your establishment must offer the best possible service to get ahead. By providing fast, convenient delivery, you can bring in more diners and build a large, loyal customer base. Whether you operate in the North End, Seaport, or South Boston, a reliable third-party delivery partner is a must. That’s where Grubhub comes in — we offer user-friendly technology, detailed guidance, and professional delivery drivers so you can focus on preparing top-notch food and drinks. Ready to test it out? Try Grubhub for free for 30 days today.

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