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The Benefits of Cocktails on Tap in the Wake of a Pandemic
By Tana Rulkova, Pour My Beer

These days, because most operators are running their establishments at a decreased capacity, it is more crucial than ever to keep the cost of operations down.

Since the average cocktail takes a few minutes to craft, this not only slows down the speed of service and customer flow but also results in lower profits. That’s where the new and more efficient solution to this issue comes in: Cocktails on tap!

Because of the pandemic, there are ongoing staffing challenges that cocktails on tap can help with. Your restaurant or bar can operate more efficiently with fewer employees, lowering your operational costs and increasing your overall profits.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of cocktails on tap, self-pour technology overall, and specifically, how self-serve beverage walls eliminate many of the pain points mentioned above in the wake of the pandemic.

Benefits of Kegged Cocktails

Cocktails on tap add a new twist to your establishment. Kegged cocktails will give your guests a fun, new experience while increasing your establishment’s profits. Say goodbye to inconsistent taste and hundreds of bulky bottles taking up space at your bar. Cocktails on tap are easy to execute and are leading the future of cocktail dispensing!

Product and Quality Consistency

Every bartender makes their cocktails a little different, which is understandable, but when a customer is happy with the taste of their drink, they want the next one to have the same taste. If you have a large bar with multiple bartenders, a different bartender would likely make the cocktails, resulting in an inconsistent taste. Kegs allow operators to offer their customers the same consistent taste every time they are ready for a refill.

Customer Sampling

Cocktails on taps allow customers to sample cocktails they would not typically get to try, meaning customers can ask bartenders for a little sample of unique (and often expensive) drinks, lowering the risk that they will not like their cocktail and send them back.

Serve More

Crafting a cocktail at a traditional bar takes time, but with kegged cocktails, the ability to serve the guests fast is significantly increased. This means that your establishment will serve more cocktails in less time. Kegged cocktails keep the drinks flowing and free up the bartenders to focus solely on the non-kegged beverages.

Benefits of Self-Pour Beverage Walls

At a traditional bar, patrons have to wait for their server to take their order, the bartender to make their drink, and the server to bring it to the table. They consume at the pace of how quickly the bartender can make their drink and their server can bring it to their table, not at the speed they wish.

Self-pour technology is a much more efficient way of beverage dispensing. More customers are served at once, there is no waiting time to receive the drink, and the buying cycle is faster.

Increase Efficiency

Self-pour beverage walls increase efficiency for both your staff and your guests. Your crew will be relieved from the long drink ordering process and will be free to focus on other aspects of serving. Your bartender will not have to make individual cocktails, and your customers will not have to wait for their drinks to arrive. They can go up and serve themselves in the snap of a finger.

Maximize Revenue

With customers no longer waiting for their drinks, they can now drink at their own pace, allowing them to drink more in a fraction of the time.

You, the operator, will be able to serve more now that patrons can pour simultaneously. Since self-pour technology usually takes up a full wall, there is plenty of room for many guests to pour their drinks at once. This increase in customer flow leaves guests happy and maximizes profits for the operator.

Jim Wright, the operator of Stanley Beer Hall In Denver, said: “We were shocked to find out that our most profitable self-pour tap is our margarita. Last year alone it brought in an incredible profit margin of $250,000. Customers are really enjoying this new trend. So much so that we’ve added a second tap for cocktails and are considering a third!”

Decrease Waste

Self-pour technology allows customers to sample while still increasing revenue for your establishment. Free samples and taste-testings really add up. Let your customers taste as many cocktails on tap they choose, all while paying for every sip. Heavy pours are the biggest reason for lost profits for operators in cocktail bars. Cocktails on tap, which are made in large quantities, will eliminate these lost costs. Your restaurant won’t be losing anything, and your customers will be happy they have this option.

Decreases Labor Costs

With customers pouring themselves, less staff is needed to run the operations. Less staff means lower labor costs. Your operations will still run smoothly without the need for excess employees. Since customers can grab a glass and fill it themselves, there is no need for back-up bartenders or extra servers.

Fun

Customers will love this new and exciting way to pour. They will have the freedom to try as they wish, putting the control entirely in their hands. They will appreciate having the ability to sample and pay for only what they drink. It is an experiential way of dispensing that they will not find at many other establishments.

Benefits of Self-Pour Technology During a Pandemic

In addition to the benefits above, self-pour technology presents a great solution to this “new normal.” Customers can safely pour drinks themselves while remaining socially distant from other patrons and servers.

Your operations will be more efficient with your ability to serve more customers at once in a safe manner. Your customers will feel safe while pouring and will want to come back for more!

In this new normal, the goal is to avoid having someone else touch your drink. With many new guidelines put in place by the CDC and FDA, you must take all the proper steps to keep your restaurant safe. Self-pour technology reduces the risk of spread as touchpoints significantly decrease, and crowded areas are minimal. Since restaurants and bars cannot operate at full capacity, owners must come up with new ways to maximize efficiency and customer flow to keep their sales up.

Reduce Touchpoints

Self-pour reduces touchpoints from 6-8 to only 1-2. These two touchpoints come from checking-in and checking-out with the POS systems of operators’ choice. There is no need for servers to handle the customer’s drinks with self-pour since they serve themselves.

Maintain Social Distancing

While patrons are pouring, they can remain socially distant, eliminating crowding, which occurs in a traditional bar. Because of how quickly you can pour, customers come and go from the wall much faster than they would while waiting for their drink at a traditional bar. Placing signage on your self-pour wall telling patrons to remain socially distant and having marks on the floor where customers should stand if they have to wait will remind guests to stay distant.

It also allows servers to remain more socially distant from patrons. With the customers pouring their drinks, the servers do not have to go over to their table for every drink order. The only real interaction the customer will have with their server is ordering and receiving their meal.

Limits Crowding

A traditional bar can quickly get crowded when the establishment is busy. Customers push to get a place at the bar and camp out until they receive a drink. Self-pour eliminates this as customers can safely pour in a non-crowded area. They can see when other patrons are at the wall, and they can choose to approach it whenever they feel the most comfortable.

Easy Cleaning

Cleaning the self-pour wall is easy! All you need to do is wipe it down and disinfect it. You will make your customers feel safer as you can openly show your sanitizing efforts. You can also offer gloves and wipes for patrons to use while pouring for ease of mind and encourage them to grab a new glass every time they visit the wall for extra safety. 

Maximizes Customer Flow

Self-pour decreases the time customers wait to receive their drinks, which results in more drinks poured in just a fraction of the time. Since more customers can be served at once, the buying cycle is quicker. As a result, you will rotate through more customers at a faster rate and maximize profits.

Optimize Usable Space

Since your establishment cannot operate at full capacity, optimizing your space is important. A self-pour beverage wall eliminates the need for a bulky bar, leaving you with increased space to add extra seating. It also eliminates the need for excess bottles that take up space. Kegged cocktails are premade in bulk, so there is no need for back-up bottles of vodka to get you through the night.

Decreases Operational Costs

At this time, it is especially important to find ways to better your processes and decrease operational costs. A self-pour wall will allow you to reduce the number of servers needed to run your operations while increasing the overall safety and happiness of your guests. A win-win!

If you would like to learn more about how cocktails on tap can drive more revenue to your establishment and how it can simplify your operations, visit PourMyBeer.com or learn more about cocktails on tap here.

Tana Rulkova is the Senior Marketing Manager at PourMyBeer. She’s been part of the self-pour revolution for over two years now, but she’s been involved in the beverage industry for her entire life. Growing up in the Czech Republic as the daughter of a pub owner, it only makes sense that she is combining her knowledge of beer with her ninja-like digital marketing skills.