The invention of New York-based co-founders Lindsey Andrews and Lara Crystal, Minibar is to your liver what Favor is to your stomach, offering up a bevy of alcoholic options that can be delivered to your door by your local liquor store.
But whereas Favor operates as a full-fledged delivery enterprise, Andrews and Crystal have set up Minibar as a marketing middleman for Dallas liquor stores to establish an online presence. Minibar's structure allows for each store to fill their online inventory however they like, using categories such as liquor, beer, wine and mixers, as well as sub-categories that make finding Bulleit bourbon as simple as exploring the whiskey section.
What this all means is no delivery fees, because Minibar takes a small percentage of each sale. It also allows each liquor store to maintain the delivery system — bikes, cars or scooters — most efficient for them to keep Minbar's "within the hour" delivery promise. It's also up to the store to ID Minibar users, and anyone that fails to produce a valid ID or is under 21 is responsible for a $20 restocking fee.
"I think [the stores] really get it," Andrews says. "We're marketing and tech experts, and they're experts at selling, so it makes sense to focus on our areas of expertise. They get that it's an easy turnkey tech solution."
Minibar launched in New York City in the summer of 2013, where it has been slowly growing from Manhattan and Brooklyn to the other boroughs and even the Hamptons and New Jersey. Last month, it launched in Chicago and San Francisco. Dallas is the third major city to launch outside of the tri-state area, and although it's in beta now, it will be fully operational next week.
Besides selling alcohol and mixers, Minibar also gives the stores the ability to offer party requirements, including cups, ice and ping pong balls, as well as hangover helpers like Advil and Gatorade.
Andrews says that Minibar users typically fall into one of three categories.
"One is people on the way home from work who want one or two bottles of wine or some beer waiting for them," she says. "The second is if you're having a party, either personal or corporate. We want to be that solution. And third is sending gifts or thank yous. You can easily send a bottle champagne or bottle of scotch along with a message as part of our gifting option."