For many, frequenting sports bars in the month of March is unavoidable. Which is why self-pour draft beer is a must this time of year!
First off, there’s March Madness, a tournament full of excitement that is on every sports fan’s calendar. In fact, Bleacher Report ranks March the second best month of the year for sports fans.
Next, there’s St. Paddy’s Day which is one of the busiest days of the year for bars across the country. On top of all that, many people take Spring Break trips during March. When people travel, they are more inclined to eat and drink out.
During busy times, it is crucially important for a sports bar to operate efficiently and provide excellent customer service. Being able to sell A LOT of ice cold, quality draft beer is essential for sports bars. The best way to capitalize on this demand for draft beer is through a self-pour system.
Sports Bars operate a little differently than a traditional restaurant. At a traditional restaurant, the staff may try to flip tables as quickly as possible so that they can serve as many parties as possible. At a sports bar, it is not uncommon for one party to stay at a table throughout the course of an entire game. This equates to larger bills per table and means that the faster the staff can serve a table, the more a table will consume.
If you give customers the ability to pour their own beer, you substantially improve your speed of service for both beer AND food. With a traditional draft beer system, it may take a customer anywhere from 5-15 minutes for a server to bring them another beer. With a self-pour system, it takes less than 30 seconds for a customer to walk to the beer wall, (unless it’s a Table Tap then there is no walk) pour their beer, and then walk back to the table. Because customers are pouring their own beer, that’s one less thing your staff has to worry about which allows them to focus on taking and running food orders.
The speed at which customers can service themselves also contributes to a much more pleasurable beer drinking experience. MUCH more so than drinking out of a bucket. You see it all the time: A dirty bucket soaked in condensation sitting in the middle of the table. That warm, fifth beer half submerged in melted ice. A group of guys full of chicken wings arguing about who gets tasked with forcing down that last beer… It’s almost a sacrificial ritual.
Through a self-pour system, customers have ice cold beer available at their fingertips at all times. They can fill their glass as much or as little as they want. They don’t have to commit to a full pint that will be warm by the time three-fourths of it is down. They also don’t have to worry about their bucket of beer or pitcher soiling right before their eyes. Everyone knows wings, burgers, and fries pair much much better with cold beer.
Sports bars with traditional draft systems are wasting 20-25% of every keg. This wastage comes from foamy pours, bartenders over pouring or spilling, and inadequate draft equipment. Draft beer is also one of the hardest revenue items to track in terms of inventory management. This makes it extremely easy for bartenders to give beers away for free, whether they do so intentionally or not. Through a self-pour system, wastage is virtually eliminated.
Every ounce that comes out of the taps, the customer is paying for. When Table Tap installs a system, we utilize specific equipment such as trigger taps and FOBS to prevent the chance of foamy pours. A ½ barrel keg contains 1,984 ounces, or 124 pints. Let’s say you charge $5 per pint. With a traditional draft system, you’re wasting $155 of revenue per keg.
Table Tap’s very first install was completed at STATS Brew Pub , a well-known sports bar located near Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. Table Tap’s original system was designed with sports bars in mind. The convenience of having 1-4 taps located right there at your table or a high-top bar is unmatched. Customers can refill their own glass with ice cold beer without ever having to leave their seat. No long waits for a server to come by and no long lines at the bar.
With a TableTender system, our technology tracks how many ounces the entire table pours, and then adds it to their tab. If they’d like to split up the tab, staff can easily do so through our back-end software. If the bar would rather individualize consumption, then an RFID card reader can be placed next to the taps. Each patron would sync payment to an RFID card, scan the card at the taps, and then be charged for what they pour. Our technology can also cut off a table or individual after they’ve reached a certain dispense limit making it a much more responsible option than bottomless pitchers.
In addition to taps at the tables or in lieu of, there are a couple of other self-pour options a sports bar could implement. One option is mobile units. Table Tap can provide compact 1 or 2 tap mobile kegerators. These kegerators come with casters so they can be easily moved throughout a venue. Don’t bring the table a pitcher, bring them an ice cold keg!
Another option is a self-pour beer wall. This would be a great option if you’re wanting to offer more than 1-4 brands on tap. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to promote socialization within your venue. Customers can try different beers on tap and interact with other customers who may not be seated at their table.