If teens have gotten away with ordering alcohol via DoorDash for house parties, they're going to have a much tougher time now.
On July 20, DoorDash announced it was rolling out two-step ID verification for customers who order alcohol through its service. DoorDash broadened its alcohol-ordering service in 2021, expanding delivery of beer, wine and spirits to 20 states and our nation’s capital. It also offers these services to customers abroad in Canada as well as Australia, servicing over 100 million potential customers worldwide.
“At DoorDash, safety is a top priority and our goal is to deliver alcohol in the safest and most responsible way possible,” DoorDash general manager of alcohol Erik Ragotte said in a press release. “We’re setting a new industry standard for responsible alcohol delivery. The new safety measures will help ensure alcohol is delivered to people over the age of 21.”
Ragotte also said DoorDash will continue to find new ways to ensure minors aren’t ordering alcohol through their service, and that the company already works with several law enforcement and youth-based safety groups like Responsibility.org, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
DoorDash also said it has already successfully piloted the ID-checking program in several areas across the country, testing it out in Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Phoenix, Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Northern Virginia.
Here’s how it works: Customers who are of age will have to upload their ID to the DoorDash app in order to even add alcohol to their orders in the first place.
Delivery people are later required to scan the front of a customer’s ID with the DoorDash app to verify their identity prior to handing off and completing the delivery, which means no more contactless lager deliveries can be potentially abused by the youth of America.
Then, after verifying the customer’s identity and making sure the customer isn’t already intoxicated, the delivery may be completed. Just like a bartender, your DoorDasher can cut you off.
Customers also receive a reminder to be at the door with a valid ID when their delivery arrives.
Home delivery of alcohol and other spirits is lucrative for the vendors that offer them, according to the company. DoorDash said that adding alcohol to menus may increase restaurants’ and grocers’ average customer order values by up to 30% and over 50% for convenience stores.
DoorDash also pointed to their fourth quarter revenue reports for 2021, where American DoorDash delivery people earned about 30% more on all deliveries that included spirits and other adult beverages.
The desire to have a margarita at home without having to pull out a bag of limes from the kitchen seems to only be growing. 70% percent of Gen Z adults who are over 21 and 62% of millennials say the option of including alcohol with a takeout or delivery order would make them more likely to choose one restaurant over another similar restaurant, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Still, this new feature comes after news of minors misusing loose and alcohol restrictions as a result of the pandemic and the ensuing quarantine. In 2020, California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control investigated apps like UberEats and others and found that “third-party delivery services are routinely delivering alcoholic beverages to minors.”
That investigation found that since UberEats was only set up to deliver alcohol in Florida at the time, when the quarantine allowed restaurants in other states like California to sell alcohol to-go, minors took advantage of it. Since then, UberEats has instituted its own safeguards, but DoorDash making customers upload their IDs to the app is may be the furthest step a food delivery service has taken so far.
For its part, other popular food-delivery app GrubHub only offers alcohol delivery in less than 20 localities. Alcohol delivery app Drizly has its own stringent verification policies in order to have alcohol delivered to your door, including charging accounts a $20 restocking fee for uncompleted orders, which may dissuade minors who might attempt to try their luck with the service.
With these new restrictions and safeguards put in place, minors will have a much tougher time tricking services into thinking they’re of age, so they’ll just have to wait until their ID proves they are.