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All night booze home delivery service starts in Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 31, 2014

Drinking at home

Comments (20)

PARTY-GOERS in Gloucester might see it as a dream come true – a delivery service that brings beer, wine and cigarettes to your front door.

The new business, called Alcorunner, offers a late night booze and tobacco delivery service between 8pm and 7am. Owner Ben Tavener started a similar business in Bristol three years ago where it proved a big success and he said trade in Gloucester has been booming.

He said: “It is like ordering a pizza, it is so easy. We have customers ordering a couple of bottles of wine for a night in to spending hundreds for house parties. People have tried to do this before but not on this scale. Our focus is on customer service, quick delivery and reasonable prices.”

But concerns have been raised about the implications of 24-hour access to alcohol and underage drinking.

Justin Hudson, manager of Butlers bar, in Eastgate Street, which opens from 8.30pm to 2am, said: “As a licensee it bothers me greatly. We have a responsibility to make sure customers are over 18 and that nobody we serve is with somebody who is underage.

“House parties make that difficult. Also, will delivery men act like bar staff and decide if the customer has had enough? There are issues here.”

Ben Carter, manager of Cafe Rene, in Southgate Street, which has a 24-hour licence and opens until 3am at weekends, agreed.

He said: “We are very strict with our ID policy and I don’t know how this company is going to police making sure the alcohol isn’t being consumed by people under age. Good luck to them, but I don’t really see it working.”

Neither manager thought the business would have a negative effect on Gloucester’s evening economy, and student Oliver Somervell, 27, from Sandhurst, agreed.

He said: “The ultimate reason people go out to drink is for the social aspect. My concern is that when people are drinking at home there is no control over the amount consumed or care in place in case of an accident.”

Mr Tavener said the firm is fully licensed and operates a strict over-25 policy. Phone staff and delivery staff are trained to spot people who are over the limit.

“We are very stringent and anyone under the age of 25 will not be served,” he said.

“The point of sale is at the car and the driver does not leave the vehicle and leaves the engine on. We have a reputation to maintain and we want to make this a national brand so we will not risk serving anyone under age.”

It comes as figures released this week show the cost to the NHS of drugs dispensed to treat alcohol dependence topped £3 million in 2013.

UK spending on alcohol rose between 2009 and 2012 in real terms by 1.3% but according to reports pubs were still hit hard as drinking outside the home dropped by 9.8%.

Addiction charity Turning Point has warned that 24-hour access to alcohol can encourage people to drink more than they should.

A spokesman said: “We know alcohol misuse can affect anyone and it is important that individuals are aware of the risks and know where to seek help.

“It is important that people stay within the recommended alcohol units per day to reduce the likelihood of both short term and long term harm.”

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  • bernardjones  |  June 19 2014, 3:04PM

    To be frank I don't see the big deal with an all night booze delivery service and it's not like it's the first 24 hour alcohol delivery company in Gloucester. If anything, I think it could help prevent drink driving which can only be a good thing. The way things stand at the moment, if someone wants to buy alcohol late at night they have to travel to one of the 24 hour off licences in Gloucestershire http://tinyurl.com/mclbgp7 which means they may consider jumping in the car and driving under the influence of alcohol. If they live within walking distance of a shop selling alcohol 24 hours then I guess it's not such a concern but then on the other hand drunk people out on the streets at night do tend to be noisy and can cause a nuisance. So I have come to the conclusion that an alcohol delivery service is probably beneficial to the community when all things considered.

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  • HuckiePhil  |  June 03 2014, 7:38PM

    Is this the same Ben Tavener who was so successful with Alcorunner in Brizzle three years ago that he's still a Facilities Manager at Bristol Grammar full-time? Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's a fine entrepreneurial calling, but...

  • NibNobs  |  June 02 2014, 12:14PM

    Just looked at Tesco's web site: Bulmers Strongbow 20x bottles for £14 or 20x 440ml cans for £12. Stella Artois 20x bottles £12 or 24x 440ml cans for £18. 100% mark up with this lot.....Dream on!!!!!!

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  • thomas1996  |  June 02 2014, 12:03PM

    HuckiePhil, THOUGHT SO! I knew their prices would be high but a WHOPPING 50% more than Tesco....no way!!! Might as well get Tesco to deliver for a quid (free if order over £50) Maybe the firm hopes the buyers are so drunk they won't notice the RIP OFF prices?

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  • HuckiePhil  |  June 02 2014, 10:57AM

    20 Strongbow £28.99, 24 Stella £34.99, 20 Lambert & Butler £9.49, total bill £73.47, compare with £39.83 at Tesco... why the hell wouldn't I just get a cab?

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  • xtremedge  |  June 01 2014, 12:27PM

    I love the comments regards how the owner of the business is apparently an idiot and pretty much doesn't understand what he's letting himself in for... How many of you own your own businesses? Then those that do will surely know first hand how much work goes in to setting up your own business, let alone operating one, right? And it's already been stated that this type of business is already doing well in other countries/cities - so why just because this is England/Gloucester does it automatically mean it'll be run loosely and easily get caught supplying to underage party-goers? Too many people readily set to criticise instead of support ventures. And I bet those same people moan about local businesses failing and/or not being given the help they need to survive.

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  • thomas1996  |  June 01 2014, 8:39AM

    Will the driver be asking for ID from the buyer at the van's door....I doubt it! Once this service sells a pile of booze to a teenager's party at their parents home whilst they are out or on holiday (very very likely!!) this service will have so much bad publicity it will be doomed. With Tesco/Asda/Sainsburys you have to have an account and pay long before the van leaves the store.

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  • thomas1996  |  June 01 2014, 8:34AM

    If the prices are any higher than you pay at Bargain Booze or ASDA then this venture will fail. The idea of the service is fine but people won't pay a premium for having it delivered, we are all used to low supermarket promo prices now and one of the reasons people don't go to pubs is the mark up for having the 'privildge' of having a bottle of beer chilled & opened for you at the bar. This delivery service might work in London where people earn more money on the annual increase in value of their home than they do in their job... but not in cash strapped Gloucester!

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  • HuckiePhil  |  June 01 2014, 5:53AM

    What kind of saddo fails to buy what they need for an evening during the day anyway?

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  • NibNobs  |  May 31 2014, 7:02PM

    What a NON-story! Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury's and now Morrisons ALREADY deliver every kind of beer, wine and spirits up to 11pm at night. And their delivered prices are EXACTLY the same as the in-store promotions...i.e a box of 12 bottles of Bulmers cider or Stella Artois for £10. Bet this lot's prices are WAY OVER supermarket prices to pay for the driver/van running costs etc. Sadly for this new venture the above supermarkets are currently delivering for £1 a slot and usually free if you spend £50. I'll give it 6 months before they realise all this.

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