Fed up of waiting in line for hours to be served whenever you go out? That could all be about to change with the new revolution sweeping the food and drinks industry: self-service bars.
These are changing the face of pubs, bars and restaurants the world over. They are still fairly new, but they are catching on fast. The University of Reading now has a beer wall with 167 taps, and it’s just one of many bars and restaurants to experiment with the idea.
Here’s what’s happening.
What Are Self-Service Bars?
Self-service bars are where instead of going up to the bar and asking the bartender to pour your drink, you do it yourself.
The establishment will often have a wall of beer taps to choose from. You simply walk up, choose the drink you want, pay for it, and pour your drink yourself. No waiting, no fuss.
How Do They Work?
They work using the power of self-service technology – similar to the self-service checkouts you see in your local supermarket.
There is usually a wall of taps, and above each one is an interactive screen that provides details about the beer. You simply choose your drink then either pay with a contactless card or use a bracelet or card given to you when you enter.
Then you simply pour the drink from the pump and it will automatically cut off at the right level.
Why They Are Catching On
One of the main benefits is that it allows the establishment to serve more beer to more people in less time because they can install more taps than staff. This translates to more sales but also less queueing for customers.
Long queues can really get in the way of a good night out, so it’s no surprise that self-service bars are cropping up all over the place. With a self-service bar, customers can just go up and get their drink of choice when they want to.
The tech behind self-service bars is also still a novelty and people love having the chance to pour their own pint!
Bar staff might be worried about their jobs. Although at the moment the idea is that it frees them up to do other tasks and spend more time with customers, the truth is it could lead to job cuts as more of the work is being done automatically.
The other potential problem is deciding when someone has had too much to drink. With these systems, the bartender still gets to decide whether to approve a request for more drink. But there is a risk that people will drink too much without the bartender being able to simply stop serving them as in a traditional bar setting.
The Way We Drink Is Changing
Self-service bars provide an example of how technology is changing our lives. First contactless payments, then self-service kiosks in supermarkets, and now you can go to a pub or restaurant and pour your own.
There will probably always be a role for the bartender. But it is easy to see this style of drinking catching on and becoming much more popular over the coming years.
Not only can consumers use the Create Your Taste service to order exactly what they want but staff can then locate the buyer using GPS.
But how else are eateries using tech to optimise their business?
We’ve put together three ways digital kiosks in the food industry are making cash for businesses so you can see how it could benefit your eatery.
Companies are using in-store technology to increase add-ons
The new generation of diners will be used to ordering from machines, whether that be on the internet or in store.
So, while a personal touch from restaurant staff is still a great way to sell add-ons, more and more companies are finding that kiosks are can generate higher orders.
By advertising their products on the machines they can make sure their customers see all the lovely food on offer – making them more likely to buy extra items.
If you’re still a bit hesitant to go fully-automated, staffed kiosks add a personal touch but could convince customers who are reluctant to order from kiosks to try out the new technology.
Restaurants are reducing the number of staff to save money
Eateries can dramatically cut the wage bill by investing in digital kiosks.
If implemented correctly, the restaurants can chop the number of workers manning the tills as customers can order straight from the machines.
Okay, it is still great to have a human to speak to but now staff who were previously stuck behind the counter can be redeployed in other areas of the business.
There’s also the benefit of cutting down on human error.
Savvy businesses are using kiosks to advertise their menus
Clever companies are using digital kiosks to display their menus in store.
Unlike printed menus, digital menus can be changed as much as the user wants – making it extremely flexible.
On top of that they can provide a load more information than the paper product.
For example some restaurants are using interactive menus to suggest wine and food pairings.
Not only does this let the customer know the restaurant is serious about its products but it also gives a great chance for an up-sell.
Digital kiosks in the food industry: The conclusion
Digital kiosks in the food industry are transforming the way we eat and even the way we order food.
By embracing the new technology restaurants are finding they are increasing their profits and making their business as flexible as possible.
As this blog shows kiosks are a great way to generate income and potentially save a bit of cash on the wage bill.
Restaurants are finding more and more that tech and food are the perfect combination.
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