WINNIPEG — Canada’s first beer and pizza
delivery company is offering a new revenue stream for hotels.
Hops Pizza launched its first location at
Winnipeg’s Polo Park Holiday Inn in November.
Terry Davison, who owns a software
development company and hotelier Angelo Paletta, created the company to
capitalize on beer delivery.
“Unless you charge a significant delivery
fee, it’s not profitable,” Davison said. “Putting the two together was kind of
a marketing made-in-heaven concept.”
The first step to launching Hops Pizza was
to create a business model that would operate within the regulations of the
Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (LGA), as well as regulatory bodies in
“If it wasn’t done with the right steps,
you basically turn into a bootlegger,” Davison said.
“We started off with the idea of being
extremely transparent and putting everything on the table, so there were no
surprises at the end when we launched.”
The business concept requires Hops Pizza to
operate out of a location with an established liquor licence, as well as have
their delivery drivers complete the alcohol serving training required by the
As well, all orders are completed online,
creating a paper trail of who has purchased alcohol.
“In order to ensure we stayed onside with
the liquor laws, we had to take payment at the time of ordering,” Davison said.
“With an online transaction, the age category is somewhat validated.”
After solving issues of legality, Davison
and Paletta recruited several chefs to create their pizza recipe.
“When we find new franchisees, we can give
them a solution where even if they weren’t chefs, they could still reproduce
our product,” Davison said.
Since its November launch, Hops Pizza has
expanded to three hotels, with four more in development.
Opening a Hops location requires a portion
of the hotel’s kitchen be retrofitted for the pizza oven, prep area, beer
cooler and delivery section. Hotels are also using the service to feed their
“Hops Pizza is the facilitator of the
order, but we’re not actually processing the order. The actual vendor licence
holder is ultimately processing the order and delivering the product,” Davison
“All of the finances go directly to the
license holder, and they’re ultimately responsible for delivery of the
Hops Pizza launched offering only extra
large pies, potato chips, six types of beer and two coolers.
“We went out to Twitter and ran a survey to
find out what kind of beer people wanted,” Davison said.
Now, the company is looking to expand its
menu and beer selection.
“We may look at wings and salad as well,”
“For the launch we wanted to keep it
really, really simple.”