5 Self-serve Beverage Brands to Know
by David Klemt
If you’re an operator who wants to leverage the popularity of self-serve beverages, these are the brands you should consider.
There are several reasons to invest in self-serve beverage solutions:
- Reducing costs
- Reduction in waste
- Guest convenience
- Guest experience
- System customization
- Real-time system management and reports
Truthfully, had I been told ten years ago that guests would want to serve themselves beer, wine, and other drinks, I would have raised an eyebrow. It’s possible, sure, but I would’ve been skeptical.
Well, it turns out that I would’ve been wrong. Indeed, today’s guest seems to enjoy pouring their own drinks from self-serve systems.
From convenience to control over their experience, these platforms are proving popular with consumers. An appealing factor appears to be the ability to sample a range of beverages to discover new favorites. And, of course, they can do so without having to purchase full drinks or asking a bartender or server for a sample.
So, below are some of the brands in the self-serve beverage world that operators need to know and consider.
In terms of P&L, your bottom line will thank you for embracing self-serve solutions.
First, the popularity of these systems increases sales. Guests can sample an array of drinks easily, choose a favorite or two, and serve themselves at their convenience. Additionally, guests tend to view self-serve systems in a positive light due to perceived value.
Second, an impressive self-serve beverage wall can be a sight to behold. There are venues with 100 self-serve taps and screens, which is an impressive sight. There are also all manner of designs not dependent on a wall. One great example is the rotating self-serve beer system at the Famous Foods Center Bar inside Resort World Las Vegas.
In other words, self-serve beverage systems help concepts stand out among competitors.
Third, self-serve systems allow operators to streamline operations and reduce costs. For example, labor costs can be reduced, as can waste.
And fourth, these solutions can lead to improvements in the guest experience. Not having to wait in line and being able to engage more with front-of-house staff aids in guest perception.
According to the brand itself, iPourIt installed the world’s very first beer wall. Since then, the platform has worked tirelessly to improve their solutions.
One way they’ve improved involves the security and usability of their system. As you’ll see with most self-serve brands that pour alcohol, guests are locked out of these systems without RFID access.
IPourIt offers several types of RFID solutions, from bracelets to fobs. Of course, other systems use similar tech. However, iPourIt prides themselves in offering touch-free RFID access and eschewing the need to leave cards in slots when pouring.
Another benefit is that as long as the beverage isn’t meant to be poured hot or doesn’t have pulp/sediment, iPourIt can handle it.
This company is iPourIt’s main rival. When you review how they can improve an operators’s bottom line, it’s not hard to see why.
PourMyBeer claims some impressive stats:
- 45 percent sales increase
- 50 percent increase in profits
- 20 percent reduction to labor costs
- Less than three percent waste
Like other systems, PourMyBeer can help operators leverage wall space. In addition, a single PourMyBeer screen can control four taps, so a wall doesn’t haven’t to be overloaded with screens.
Impressively, this platform also boasts the most POS integrations among the self-serve systems. Obviously, this is beneficial to the vast array of operators.
For operators looking for both a pioneer in the self-serve space, Table Tap may be the perfect partner. In particular, the use of “underage cards” by underage guests to access non-alcohol drinks is a nice feature. So, children up to early college-age students can get in on the fun.
Standing out from other platforms, Table Tap offers wall systems and table-mounted systems. Truly, offering a self-serve wall and a number of tables with the same tech is impressive.
In fact, if I were to install both solutions I would consider the tables a self-service take on VIP seating. And, I’d charge accordingly. Just something operators may want to consider.
Another cool feature relates to Table Tap’s software. While not the most mind-blowing functionality, guests can control an operator’s sound system via the TableTab ordering platform. Better yet, if an operator charges fees to select songs on their jukebox, TabelTab adds them to guest tabs.
To learn more about Table Tap, give episode 22 of Bar Hacks a listen.
“We do everything self pour, and more,” proclaims the Drink Command website.
Is an operator looking for a killer self-pour wall? Done. Table-mounted taps? Check. What about a self-serve tower, self-serve mobile kegerator, or a heavy-duty, mobile, self-serve counter? Drink Command has all three.
In other words, Drink Command makes it easy for operators to get creative and implement a range of self-pour solutions. Additionally, with mobile solutions, operators who want to expand into catering, pop-ups, and special events can do so easily.
For a list of other benefits—including foam-free beer pours, advertising interstitials, and consumption limits—click here.
Makers of the TapStation, Napa Technology promises a boost to the guest experience. In part, this is because guests don’t have to wait in long lines at the bar.
Additionally, as stated prior, today’s guest enjoys using self-serve beverage systems.
Unlike other platforms, the Napa Technology TapStation doesn’t rely on wall installations. Instead, TapStation dispensers are available in two- and four-keg systems. These stations can be placed anywhere on the floor rather than a wall.
The TapStation can serve beer, wine, kombucha, and cold-brew coffee, ensuring it’s as versatile as the systems above.
Image: Brad on Unsplash