As many businesses take a hit amid the coronavirus pandemic, alcohol delivery is booming. Companies, like Minibar Delivery, are seeing soaring sales with alcohol often deemed an essential service in various states.
"New buyers are now up over 500 percent pre corona,” Lindsey Andrews, CEO and co-founder of Minibar Delivery, told Cheddar on Tuesday.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans to stay home, and Minibar Delivery is making sure they get booze at their door safely and quickly. Customers can use the service in 50 markets across 18 states. Of course, it couldn’t have predicted this outbreak, so the company has had to adapt to a new reality.
"We have an amazing customer service team," Andrews said. "We have built a lot of tools for them over the past three weeks to help them with demand."
The company brands itself on being available in 30-60 minutes, but a spike in demand amid the coronavirus outbreak has changed that. “Right now, [orders are] being delivered more in the two- to four-hour range,” Andrews said.
"I think that this is kind of the inflection point that the online alcohol industry has been waiting for. It's been a little bit slower to adopt than some other sectors for e-commerce and I think people didn't know you can order your alcohol online,” the CEO added regarding awareness about the industry once the crisis passes.
Minibar also noted some regional differences in alcohol consumption with New York buying more wine and Washington, DC spending more on higher-end options.
"[People] have shifted their spend a little bit more away from beer and more towards hard alcohol,” Andrews said. “It's obviously not that celebratory of a time. We've seen a decrease in share for sparkling and champagne.”
While Corona beer is one of the temporary victims of the pandemic as the company has had to halt production in Mexico due to the outbreak, ironically it's become even more popular on Minibar Delivery.
"Corona beer was not usually in our top three beers sold on Minibar; and since the pandemic, since obviously it shares the name, it is now one of our top three beers," Andrews explained.