Self-serve beverages – also known as “pour your own beer walls” – are a growing trend in the hospitality industry, and are the perfect solution for operators looking to generate more beverage sales and add an extra element to guest experiences. These systems allow guests to seamlessly serve themselves drinks, while getting charged by the ounce. In turn, restaurants make more money thanks to less wasted product and more beverage sales. We sat down with Josh Goodman, founder & CEO of PourMyBeer, the industry leader in self-pour technology, to learn more about this trend:
1. How does PourMyBeer work? PourMyBeer creates self-pour tap
installations. We engineered a “magic box” that manages the flow of one to four beverages with a flow meter and a solonid valve. Our software prevents guests from consuming more than 2 beverages without staff interaction. Once they hit their two drink check-in, the staff assesses their sobriety and reauthorizes their RFID card to allow them to continue pouring their own drinks. The reauthorization takes less than 5 seconds, so it’s not a hassle. They get charged by the ounce, so they only get charged for what they pour. At the end of the night, they hand back their RFID card, like a hotel room key, and the staff scans the card on our system. They are charged for what they poured.
2. Why is self-serve such a big trend right now in the food and beverage industry?
It’s a trend right now for the same reasons why EZ pass is a big trend in transportation and why self-checkouts are a trend in retail. It lowers the cost of labor for the owners and is 400 to 1000 percent more efficient than the current processes. Have you ever heard someone say, “Man, I wish I didn’t have this EZ pass and I had to wait in a line of 15 cars to pay a $2 toll?” That would be crazy. That’s what we’re doing in hospitality. You will never see a line at any of the 200 locations we have because it takes a guest 5-10 seconds to pour what they want vs. the 5-10 minutes it would take to order and receive that same beverage through traditional methods.
3. What types of restaurants, bars or other hospitality facilities can benefit from this technology?
Many hospitality entities can benefit from self-pour technology, from forward thinking restaurant groups to craft beer and cocktail enthusiasts. About 95 percent of our projects are new construction or renovations where there is a self-serve focus. When it is 100 percent self-serve, they see big returns. We have locations doing $2.5 million a year through our system with half the staff and 20% lower COG’s because of no waste, since the point of purchase is at the tap and beverages can’t be dispensed without a payment being attached to it.
4. Can you share an example of a time where PourMyBeer improved business for a customer?
Round Table pizza in California, which has 200 locations on the west coast, previously had beer behind the counter. Only about 2 percent of their sales were from draft beer and wine. After implementing our system, they said 36 percent of their revenue came from beer and wine. For more examples, check out the self-pour case studies on our website.
5. Any thoughts on where the self-serve trend will go in 2019?
Momentum is building for self-serve beverages. There are enough early adapters that I believe we’ll be making the transition to early majority in 2019 and 2020. That’s where it gets fun. More projects = more profits = more engineering to continue to set the bar for what is possible in hospitality. We have some exciting projects I can’t disclose just yet, but when we do, it will set the industry on fire.