Tag Archives: wine delivery

Does the world need Pizza Hut wine?

pizza hut wineThe chain may not understand that delivering wine is not the same thing as delivering two pizzas for $14

Dear Pizza Hut:

I know we haven’t talked in a long time, since I wrote for Pizza Today magazine. But since I’m writing about wine these days, and you want to go into that business, I thought I should write.

Don’t.

Yes, pizza and wine make sense if you’re sitting in a corporate conference room trying to figure out the post-modern 21st century restaurant business, what with GrubHub and Amazon and all the rest. But at the store level – and that’s what I know about from my Pizza Today experience – trying to make alcohol delivery work may be one of the dumbest things you’ve ever done.

Yes, even dumber than the Papa John’s lawsuit.

That’s because of something called the three-tier system, which regulates alcohol sales and distribution in the U.S. I’m sure one of your attorneys would be happy to explain it to you in detail, but all you really need to know is that three-tier is so complicated and so byzantine – and different in every state – that even Amazon gave up trying to deliver wine. And the companies that do deliver it, like Drizly, can’t believe how difficult the law is.

This one example should demonstrate how all powerful three-tier is. Let’s say you find a wine to deliver, but it doesn’t have a distributor in one of the states you’re doing delivery. So you can’t use it, and you have to find a different wine for that state. Silly? Of course. Cheese doesn’t work that way. Or tomato sauce. But wine does.

And this doesn’t take into account trying to find a wine that’s priced fairly, delivers quality, and won’t insult your customers. See, for example, the problems that Blue Apron had – and how much better off would the CEO have been if he had read my post?

Again, the let lawyer give you the details about three-tier. All I want to do is to give you a head’s up to save you from a multi-million dollar mistake. That’s the least I can do for old time’s sake.

Your pal,

Jeff Siegel