The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to become more creative. Whether that meant creating a makeshift office in the home or curating the ideal Zoom background, adapting to changing events became key to survival these last couple of years. This extended to the food and beverage industry, where restaurants had to figure out how to create that dine-in experience for their patrons at home. Curbside alcohol and to-go cocktails became a signature part of this newfound creativity, helping to bring in increased revenue to a struggling industry built on gathering indoors.
While delivery cocktails provided a sense of comfort and familiarity to the at-home diner and aided in keeping many restaurants afloat in lean times, they also posed a new issue for the industry: ensuring that those ordering to-go alcoholic beverages were actually of legal drinking age. A recent article from Pew Trusts highlighted this issue.
As the article reports, in a series of decoy operations completed in Virginia in 2021, alcohol enforcement agents ordered alcohol to be delivered to underage buyers, who presented an ID with an age under 21. Of the 52 operations completed, 32 underage buyers were still given alcohol, mostly from restaurants but also from grocery and convenience stores. Rarely was an ID checked, and when they were the sales went through anyway.
Similarly alarming statistics were shown in Montgomery County, Maryland, where 55% of restaurants in a mystery shopper operation did not check IDs for curbside pickup and only 15% of those restaurants told shoppers that an ID would be needed for order pickup at all.
These numbers are concerning, and with many states and businesses opting to keep to-go alcohol and cocktail sales in place, the issue doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. This is where Minor Decliner comes in, with our “On the Go” Portable ID Scanner that can provide delivery drivers with the assurance that they’re delivering alcohol to legal-age customers. The easy-to-use mobile scanner, no larger than the average smartphone, has the full features of the Minor Decliner product suite, as well as the National Association of Convenience Stores TruAge protocol. Some delivery services have already begun using it, ensuring that their delivery drivers have the tools they need to confidently complete orders and protect their business from risk of violations.
Everyone’s had to get creative in these trying times, and Minor Decliner is no different. With our “On the Go” Portable ID Scanner, restaurants and delivery services providing to-go alcohol can rest easy, knowing their cocktails aren’t getting into the wrong hands.
- View Minor Decliner's On the Go Portable ID Scanner
- Read the full article from Pew Stateline, May 2022