For this “Secrets of the Biz” article we sat down with Jake MacDougall & Jarek Hardy, co-founders of Runner, a Toronto based on-demand alcohol delivery app which is 100% legal. That’s right! Those sketchy dial-a-bottle numbers we passed around like they were worth gold, are actually legit.
Tell us about Runner:
Runner is a Toronto based on-demand alcohol delivery app. We have thousands of products to choose from. You make your selection, enter your address and credit card info, and the product is delivered to your door in under 2 hours for $9.99.
How did you guys come up with the idea?
We used to run a creative studio, FutureFuture. It was great for a while, but we always wanted something we could put our weight behind. One day we decided, ‘Let’s build something for ourselves.’ We did some plotting and planning, compulsory maniacal laughs, and landed on alcohol delivery. Why hadn’t it been done yet – what was the reason. We soon found out that there were a ton of legal hurdles. But we’ve built a product and a team that adheres to all of them and delivers exceptional service.
Is this legal? How?
Yea, we get that a lot. It’s 100% legal. We are fully licensed to deliver alcohol in Ontario. We adhere to all of the rules and regulations put forth by the AGCO. We want to break the negative connotation that seems to exist with alcohol delivery. Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable and certified. We also have a customer service line that can be reached at any point if you’re bored and want to chat with someone 🙂
Any plans to release an Android app?
Yep, of course. One step at a time. For us, it was simply a matter of most of our demographic being Apple users. As we’ve grown, we’ve been seeing a lot more Android users however, and we’re going to make sure that we’re not leaving anyone out. So we’re currently working on it and it will hopefully be released in the next few months. All that said, we’re also super happy with how our website performs, and you can access it from any device. Click to download IOS app HERE.
This is just Toronto, correct? Where to next?
Currently, just Toronto yes. We have plans of expanding into the outlying suburbs and into other cities around southern Ontario. Then, we’d love to go nationwide or even global with Runner.
Craziest Runner story. Go!
To get a feel for the demand and pain points, Jake and I were initially doing all the deliveries ourselves. Except, I really suck at riding a bike. One of the very first deliveries we did, I was listening to music while riding with a bag full of wine on my back. I didn’t realize a car had slammed its brakes up ahead. I then slammed mine and went flying over the handlebars. I hit the road hard and broke all the bottles in the bag. I had to go back to the LCBO to re-grab the order, soaked head to toe in wine, and with a very bad limp. I’m not allowed to deliver anymore.
Tell us a secret.
Jake is a badass MMA fighter. He’s really humble about it and doesn’t like to talk about it for some reason, but he’s dangerous.