4 Reasons Why Self-Pour Technology Is a Great Addition

Tana Rulkova
Post by Tana Rulkova
July 9, 2021
4 Reasons Why Self-Pour Technology Is a Great Addition

This is a guest post from our friends at PourMyBeer, a next-generation self-pour beverage system with over 8,000 taps in 24 countries. Having installed the most taps out of any self-pour tech providers in 2019 and 2020, PourMyBeer helps us understand the direct benefits of this technology.

As beverage companies continue to return to business as usual, innovative self-pour beverage technology could be a unique solution to decrease labor and increase profits. For customers self-pour beverage walls allow guests the freedom to pour their own beer, wine, cocktails, cold brew, and kombucha whenever they want and pay by the ounce. For operators self-serve technology increases beverage sales, simplifies operations, boosts serving efficiency, and reduces waste.

Here at PourMyBeer, we have seen the rise in self-service technology across all industries. In fact, a market analysis report done on the self-serve technology market size found, “The global self-service technology market size was valued at USD 28.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% from 2020 to 2027.” Specifically, the restaurant industry has benefitted greatly from self-pour service. The reason why? This technology creates more efficient and simplified operations, saves operators money, and increases profits.

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So, why should you consider self-pour beer? It just makes sense!

Let's dive into four reasons why you should have a self-pour beer wall in your bar or brewery:

#1: Increased Beverage Sales

Up close at a self-pouring beer station

Adding self-pour technology to your establishment not only provides a fun and unique experience for guests by allowing them to sample and pour their own beverages, but also can potentially drive up beverage sales and increase overall profits.

Fatty’s Tap House in Virginia was experiencing beverage sales of less than 8% of total sales, and their beer cost of goods was extremely high at about 50%. They were in need of a new and innovative product to drive up those sales and turn those losses into profits.

Their solution: A 40-tap PourMyBeer self-serve beverage wall.

Throughout their first year of being a self-serve establishment, they went from losing over $250,000 to profiting $260,000. A $510,000 swing!

So, how exactly did this piece of technology help save their business? Customers loved the uniqueness of pouring their own beverages, so foot traffic increased and guests poured more. Since customers were serving themselves, their establishment required fewer staff members to smoothly run operations, decreasing payroll by 45%. With beer sales increasing by a whopping 529% and payroll decreasing drastically, net sales/month skyrocketed.

Similarly, James Huffman, owner of two Pizza Factories, successfully leverages a self-pour system to benefit his business. One of his establishments utilizes a traditional bar, while the other has a 12-tap self-pour beverage wall. After noticing low beverage sales at his first location, he installed a PourMyBeer beverage wall in the second. On average, monthly sales at the traditional bar were $1,750 vs. $3,800 at the PourMyBeer location; nearly double.

#2: Simplified Operations

Woman posing in front of self-pouring beer bar

At breweries and bars, guests are often eager to test out new beers, but your staff may be overwhelmed or unable to deliver the beer at the pace customers want to drink. With a self-pour wall, bars and breweries can operate efficiently with less staff. Reducing the number of employees needed to run a successful operation decreases labor costs and simplifies overall operations.

Especially as pandemic restrictions loosen, owners of establishments are having difficulties finding and keeping good employees because of the unpredictability of the industry. In this staffing crisis, with a self-pour wall, bars and breweries will be better equipped to operate at maximum capacity despite fewer people willing to work.

It is important to note employees are still needed to mix drinks that are not available on the self-serve beverage wall and explain the different beer, seltzer, wine, or cocktail options on tap. Self-serve beverage walls present a great opportunity for a knowledgeable staff member to be a “wall ambassador” who suggests beers, describes the taste, and makes connections with their customers to keep them coming back for more!

#3: Increased Serving Efficiency

Man using self-pour beer station

Drinks are flying out left and right at a bar, and staff members are running flights to tables constantly at breweries. These tedious, repetitive tasks no longer have to be a job for your wait staff. Servers now have more time to focus on providing great customer service and ensure all customers are happy.

With self-pour technology, customers have the freedom to create their own flights. They can now test out more than just three or four beers at a time and are not stuck with the typical three- to -six-ounce pours of flights. If customers are skeptical about trying new beers, self-pour allows them to grab a little sip, so there is no hesitation to venture out of their comfort zone.

Greg Lamacki, COO at District Brew Yards says, “Emphasize the specialness of the products you’re serving and the fact that customers don’t have to commit to any one glass or drink! This is a huge selling point that you don’t want to lose out on.” Not only are your customers excited about this newfound freedom, but they are likely to pour more and test more because the option is available. A bar operator with a PourMyBeer self-serve beverage wall noted, “The average customer spends $23, which is between three to four full beers (depending on various beer brands’ price). However, only about 30% of customers pour full glasses and don’t really take advantage of the ability to sample beverages by the ounce. The remaining 70% of his customers’ pours are half a glass or less, resulting in customers tasting between six to eight beers per visit.” The ability to taste test is what customers love, and allowing them to pour themselves reduces the six to eight trips the server would have to make delivering the beers at a traditional bar.

As guests serve themselves, they no longer have to wait in lines, so they drink at their own pace. This pace is typically much faster than being served by a bartender. Not only do they drink more, but the table turnaround time is much quicker. Quicker turnaround leads to greater efficiency and higher profits, the best thing for an operator to hear.

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#4: Reduced Waste

Young woman in front of a self-pour beer station

PourMyBeer’s self-serve beverage wall reduces waste to as little as 1%. This means no more wasting your delicious beer! With PourMyBeer technology, every ounce is accounted for and paid for by the customer. No more free samples, overpouring, or overly foamy beer.

Since less product is wasted, bars and breweries have noticed they are making more money off of less product. Many self-pour operators have reduced the cost of goods by about 20%.

As for the customers, they love the Untappd & PourMyBeer integration. Before testing a beer, they can read tasting notes, which means they’re much less likely to leave a beer they did not like behind or waste their own money on a beer someone else would enjoy drinking.

Self-Pour Just Makes Sense

We are all very aware of the importance of innovating to stay competitive. The hospitality industry is a highly saturated market, making it extra important to differentiate your establishment and stand out from the competition. The fun experience self-pour brings will get customers through your doors, and for operators, it will improve operations and increase profits.

A self-pour beverage wall may be just what you need to revamp your existing restaurant or a key differentiator when opening a new bar or brewery.

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Tana Rulkova
Post by Tana Rulkova
July 9, 2021
Táňa, the daughter of a pub owner, was born and raised in the Czech Republic, the country with the highest beer consumption per capita in the world. She worked as a bartender and party planner in Seattle, WA while earning her degree in Digital Marketing. She now resides in Colorado and has been with PourMyBeer for the past 3 years.