Zomato would allow customers to order liquor from 9 am to 6 pm as permitted by the state authorities and from licensed retailers listed on the platform.
Days after the Odisha government allowed home delivery of liquor, food delivery company Zomato has expanded its on-demand alcohol delivery service – Zomato Wine Shops — for customers in the eastern state. The company said it will begin with operations to deliver liquor, just like grocery deliveries, in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday and would soon take it to Rourkela, Balasore, Balangir, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Cuttack. Last week, both Swiggy and Zomato were roped in by the Jharkhand government to deliver liquor online even as the two companies have been discussing similar service with other state governments as well.
Customers would be able to place orders for alcohol from 9 am to 6 pm as permitted by the state authorities and from licensed retailers listed on the platform. “We are working very closely with excise departments to ensure end-to-end compliance to the safety guidelines and are also introducing consumption and identity verification protocols to promote responsible ordering and consumption,” said Rakesh Ranjan, Vice President, Zomato.
Odisha had last week levied a special Covid fee on liquor delivery and also increased the MRP by 50 per cent of the 2019-20 rates along with delivery charges of Rs 100-300. Multiple state governments have been mulling on the online channel to avoid people queuing up at liquor shops to stock up alcohol as this also run the risk of an increase in Covid cases. Punjab, Chhatisgarh, and Maharashtra governments have also allowed home delivery of alcohol. Others such as Delhi, Telangana, etc. are currently exploring the new route and might follow suit.
To order booze, customers will have to upload their identity proof to verify their age at the time of ordering and delivery. Zomato has also put a “product category limits” to limit stocking up.
Zomato has been looking at multiple revenue streams to tide over current Covid times. The company had recently forayed into grocery delivery segment as well to maximize its last-mile delivery capabilities along with helping keep the livelihood of its delivery partners alive. The company had recently laid of over 500 employees along with up to 50 per cent pay cuts for other employees to reset their cost base.