Thirstie app brings drinks to your door

Will begin to test alcohol-on-demand app in Toronto and Ottawa

A new smartphone app hopes to convince more Canadians to stay at home when they're shopping for a bottle of wine. As more people become accustomed to hailing cabs and ordering pizza with their smartphones, New York-based technology company Thirstie says it has found a corner of the home delivery business that is mostly untapped. Starting Tuesday, Thirstie will begin testing its alcohol-on-demand app in both Toronto and Ottawa. The app will be available on phones using the Android operating system first, while a version for Apple's iPhone will be rolled out later this week. The way Thirstie works is similar to most other delivery apps: users scroll through a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits and place their order on their phone. Thirstie then hires one of its delivery partners—mainly the alcohol delivery companies that have been working in the community for years—to bring the bottles to your door. The company charges a $10 delivery fee. Thirstie CEO Devaraj Southworth said the app is filling a technological void where most alcohol delivery services have fallen short. "Do one or two of them have an app? Yes. Is it necessarily where it should be or what we've developed? Not even close,'' he said in an interview. In Canada, some of the delivery companies don't support web orders and still require people to make a phone call. Alternative home delivery options have been limited across most of the country. In Toronto, food delivery service Grocery Gateway, which is owned by supermarket chain Longo's, has a limited selection of wine and spirits on its website. Thirstie says it plans a more widespread rollout across 27 Ontario cities before the end of January.

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