Food delivery unicorns Swiggy and Zomato have enabled online processing and home delivery of alcohol in non-metros, in an attempt to diversify when their core business has been hit due to the covid-19 lockdown.
Extending this service to large metros may take a while, though.
Swiggy’s alcohol delivery service went live in Ranchi on Thursday, after the company obtained necessary approvals from the Jharkhand government. The service can be availed by users under the ‘Wine Shops’ category on the Swiggy app.
Zomato told Mint that its service will go live in Ranchi by Friday and in another seven other cities in Jharkhand over the next couple of days. The Gurugram-based food delivery firm said it has received the necessary approvals.
These approvals may take a couple of weeks to a month to come through.
Swiggy was looking to expand this service to certain cities in Odisha, but with Cyclone Amphan wrecking havoc in the state, it has decided to halt expansion there as of now, said a person aware of the discussions.
“…we have been working closely with local authorities to support them with initiatives like expansion of grocery delivery and covid-19 relief efforts. By enabling home delivery of alcohol in a safe and responsible manner, we can generate additional business for retail outlets while solving the problem of overcrowding, thereby promoting social distancing,” said Anuj Rathi, vice president, products, Swiggy.
Customers can verify their age by uploading a picture of a valid government ID, followed by a selfie which the platform will use for authentication using an AI-powered system.
All orders will carry a unique OTP which needs to be provided by the customer at the time of delivery. There is also a cap on the order quantity.
Swiggy, in a statement, said it was partnering authorised retailers after validating their license and other required documents as outlined by the respective state governments.
Delivery partners and retailers have been virtually trained to facilitate smooth processing and fulfilment of orders.
This article was first published on livemint.com.