Next time you visit a pub don’t be surprised if you’re invited to pour your own glass of beer from a beer tap mounted upon a wall or a table. This is a growing trend in pubs found everywhere and is made possible by advances in liquor inventory control systems that incorporate RFID technology.
Utilizing a tracking system that is automated to operate in real time, this RFID liquor inventory control system eliminates the need to physically count inventory and lowers cost associated with stocking, which also enables a just-in-time ordering process.
The benefits to pub owners is many -- everything from reduced costs of operations to a reduction in staffing requirements, all of which combine to enhance the business's bottom line. Some manufacturers of self-serve beer taps maintain that their products allow for an increase in usable product per keg from 16-20 percent. Combine this with a projected increase of beer sold overall of almost 14 percent compared to traditional pouring methods.
The number of pubs and that have begun using this system just here in North America numbers in the hundreds and they are found in almost every state in the U.S., and in Canada. Here’s how an RFID liquor inventory control system works.
Connecting Customers to the System
The first thing a customer needs to do is prove that they are of a legal age to consume alcoholic beverages. Just like in a traditional pub they’re going to need to provide the extablsinment’s personnel with a valid ID as regulated by the state in which the pub is located.
Once this process is successfully completed the customer is issued a card that is embedded with an RFID chip that accesses the pub’s accounting and inventory system as well as a monitoring function that keeps track of alcohol consumption. The card serves another function in that it automatically opens a bar tab for the customer for keeping track of the costs of their beer consumption. Like a traditional tab it is meant to be settled when the customer is ready to exit the pub.
Ordering With Just a Wave of a Card
Card activated and in hand a customer may now approach the many varieties of beer taps the pub offers, which are often mounted on the walls or on a series of tables. The concept here is for the pub to provide a customer with an almost dizzying array of different beers from all over the world.
After perusing the wall of beer the customer makes a choice, waves his card in front of a RFID reader and then receives a beer glass filled with a perfectly measured pour from the tap. Simultaneously, the customer’s tab is charged for the beer by the ounce and the monitoring function is activated.
Order a Little or a Lot -- It’s Up to You
One of the unique features of this RFID liquor inventory control system found in many pubs today allows customers to order either a twenty-ounce glass, a ten-ounce glass or a five-ounce taster glass. Not only does this promote the ability of customers to sample a wide range of selections, statistics have proven that those who do sample a variety of beers are apt to drink more overall.
Because customers are offered this type of flexibility they are more likely to become regular customers due to the opportunity for personal engagement with the establishment that the pub has provided them.
Regulating Safety for the Customer and for the Business
A critical aspect of this RFID liquor inventory control system is that it monitors, in real time, the customer’s pour limits to ascertain if and when they may have a had a bit too much to drink. Once these limits have been met the card is automatically deactivated. Now it is up to a server or someone else designated by management to perform a personal assessment of the customer’s sobriety in order to reactivate their card.
Because alcohol consumption by the customer is measured in ounces this is a fairly easy process to be programmed into the system and is based on state regulations governing legal limits.
Not only does this ensure that customers are drinking responsibly, but it also helps to protect the pub itself from any potential liability arising from allowing a customer to drink beyond such limits and possibly risk injury or worse to themselves and/or others, or to property, all of which has the potential to adversely affect the business.
Engaging Customers Through Exploration of Options
Many beer aficionados are almost as interested in the facts and pedigree of the beers they drink as they are in the beer itself. One way pubs are engaging with their customers to promote this fascination with brand is by providing touchscreen displays mounted on the walls or on the tables, aside the beer taps, which allow a customer to explore the facts and details about a particular brew prior to ordering.
RFID liquor inventory control systems is a fast growing phenomenon within restaurants, bars and pubs, one that is expected to virtually transform the alcohol distribution industry in the near future as more and more businesses adopt this proven and profitable business model.