Published: 08/08/2017 19:00 - Updated: 08/08/2017 15:03

Inverness taxi firm to launch alcohol delivery service

Written byRachel Treasurer


Gavin Johnstone
Gavin Johnstone, owner of Inverness Taxis, says overly intoxicated people will not be sold alcohol.

AN Inverness taxi firm has come up with a pitcher perfect idea to offer an alcohol delivery service in the city.

In a bid to hone in on the tourist market, Inverness Taxis initially decided to start selling local arts and crafts in their newly-opened office in Church Street.

With the building being open much later than many others in the city, they regularly attract tourists asking advice on where to go and what to do.

Many are whisky enthusiasts and so owner of the firm Gavin Johnstone made the decision to also start selling malts and gins in their Church Street office.

They then explored the possibility of delivering the alcoholic goods to campsites and caravan parks in an attempt to cater for the tourist population.

Sensing a demand, they are now choosing to offer the delivery service to the wider public in the next few weeks and Mr Johnstone is pleased to be able to finally launch the initiative.

"Visit Scotland is shut at 5 o’clock so there is not any real information for people to be getting at night," Mr Johnstone said.

"A lot of people were going into the office wanting to know what they can do and what there is to see.

"We decided if we were getting the tourists into the office to do a bit more about it. We located local gifts and crafts to start selling through the shop as another service for the tourists.

"On top of that a lot of them were here for whisky. It seemed the next obvious thing to do was to start selling the local malts and gins in this shop because it is one of the reasons that they are here.

"The whole idea stems from dealing with the tourists and giving the tourists the things that they were looking for. If they were coming into the shop why don’t we start to sell it to them at the campsites, to caravans etc?

"We applied for our delivery license and got it. There’s no point in just doing it for the tourists to the campsites. If the locals want that service as well we will supply to them."

The firm posted on social media alerting the public to the new service which is expected to launch in the next four weeks.

Dozens of people responded to the post to request the various types of alcohol that they would like to see available as part of the delivery service.

There were more than 100 comments left on the post with some people questioning whether or not it was genuine.

Customers requested a range of wines and spirits that they would like to see stocked as part of the service with the firm commenting on some of the requests confirming that they would be made available when the service is launched.

Mr Johnstone also gave assurances that training will be undertaken for anyone that will be involved in delivering the service.

A team of about 10 people from the taxi firm will undergo the  training over the next few weeks so that they can learn how to properly deliver the service.

After the training is complete the web order form is expected to go live shortly after.

It will be an on demand service where people can order alcohol online to arrive at a chosen time.

It can be delivered up until midnight, as long as orders are in before 10pm to abide by Scottish licensing laws.

Mr Johnstone has also assured people that there will be strict rules in place to ensure that heavily intoxicated people will not be sold the alcohol.

"The website will be set up so you register and give all your details and date of birth to make sure we are not selling to under-age people so it will be controlled that way," he said.

"It will only be online sales – we won’t let people just phone up and ask for a tin or a bottle.

"Everybody dealing with it will have to be trained. We have already put the staff in the shop through the courses.

"Anybody that we feel shouldn’t get the alcohol won’t get it and that will all be in the training.

"A record of everything will be kept. Every time we do a delivery we will take proof of ID and we won’t deliver to people that we think are too drunk."

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