Table Tap continues to grow throughout the multifamily industry. We have fine-tuned our sales and installation processes to help developers, designers, contractors, and property managers implement our self-pour systems across their multifamily projects. Many of our customers are making the Table Tap amenity a standard across their luxury branded apartments. There is no doubt that communities recognize the need for this type of amenity. Our goal now is to continue to educate our current and prospective customers on how to incorporate Self Pour to get the most out of their Table Tap system.
Why Multifamily Communities Want to Offer Draft Beverages
It’s no secret that apartments are in a battle with one another. This battle is what we call The Amenity War. Communities are competing with one another to attract residents. Rents continue to increase and residents are expecting an enhanced resident experience to justify the higher prices. Better amenities equals higher resident satisfaction. This is why we see more and more apartments with luxury pools, cool rooftop lounges, shuffleboard, ping pong tables, dog washing stations, etc.… but everybody has those. What apartments are quickly beginning to learn is that there is a secret weapon on the market that they can use to win this war.
That secret weapon is draft beverages. Offering draft beverages to residents can be the key differentiator that makes a prospective tenant choose Apartment Complex A over Apartment Complex B. Apartments spend outrageous amounts of money on designing state-of-the-art clubhouses. The only issues are that there may be little foot traffic through the clubhouse and the amenity area doesn’t get utilized. Putting taps in the clubhouse will instantly result in more residents funneling through. As quoted in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, [they] will come”. A tap system promotes socialization among residents and increases the likelihood they’ll spend time in common areas. When residents use the taps, it also means they’ll likely use other features of the amenity area that the property invested in.
To maximize the value of the amenity, most apartment communities want the ability to offer draft beverages for free to residents. When offered for free as opposed to charging residents for each ounce they pour, the amenity becomes that much more of a differentiator. If a resident is getting charged for a beer in their apartment complex, why wouldn’t they just walk down to the bar down the street and buy a beer there? Free drinks create much more value to the resident. It’s what gets them to sign that first lease and is the reason they continue to renew that lease.
Another reason many apartments want to offer alcoholic beverages for free is due to licensing. If the apartment is going to charge residents for each ounce they pour, the apartment will certainly need an alcohol license. In many municipalities, if a property is just giving away the alcoholic beverages for free, then a license is not required. Alcohol policies do vary city by city. If you are an apartment wanting to offer alcoholic beverages, please do your due diligence in researching local alcohol policies to determine the need of a license or not.
Did you know Table Tap systems can also dispense non-alcoholic beverages like cold brew coffee and kombucha? In fact, non-alcoholic beverages are becoming increasingly popular everyday. Many of our customers offer an alcoholic and non-alcoholic mix of draft beverages and to our surprise, the non-alcoholic beverages are in greater demand than beer or wine. Because of this high demand some of our customers are even using Table Tap technology to charge residents for what they pour.
Why do Communities Need Table Tap Self Pour technology?
Now you may be thinking, “free alcohol to residents? How in the world do we control that?” That’s exactly where Table Tap’s self pour technology comes in. We combat the major problems that would result from a free flowing tap system.
The first is liability. How can a property restrict access and limit liability and overconsumption? To pour out of the taps, a resident must have an RFID card to scan at the taps. Only residents of legal drinking age may be given a card by the property management team. If a person does not have an RFID card, then they cannot use the self pour system. Associated with each card is a daily dispense limit.
Once a resident reaches their daily dispense limit, their RFID card will deactivate for the remainder of the day and then automatically reactivate the next day. This daily dispense limit prevents residents from potential overconsumption from the taps and also prevents residents from filling up gallon jugs or pitchers and then bringing them back up to their apartment.
The other big problem we help with are operational expenses associated with the taps. Table Tap provides the dispensing system and the technology to control it, but we do not provide kegs of beverages. It is the property’s responsibility to purchase these kegs from local retailers. If a property had a free flowing tap that was available 24/7, the property would go through keg after keg and spend thousands of dollars each month. Through Table Tap self pour technology, the property can limit the availability of taps to certain days of the week of certain hours of the day.
Many operators who want to offer non-alcoholic beverages don’t realize that these beverages can be even more expensive than alcoholic beverages. The kegs cost about the same and generally are consumed more often. Properties reach out to Table Tap because they are spending a fortune on kegs. By using Table Tap’s monitoring and control technology, a property can significantly reduce monthly beverage expenses whether they are serving alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.
How Can a Community Limit the Amenity’s Operational Expenses?
The key to implementing a draft beverage amenity is finding the sweet spot on when and how to make the amenity available. You want it to be available enough so that residents can have semi-regular access to it so it sustains its value as a differentiator. However, you also want to restrict access enough so that you can keep your operational expenses down.
Rather than it being available 24/7, most apartments limit availability of the system. Many only have it available on select days of the week such as Thirsty Thursday and weekends only. Others only have the system available a few hours of each day such as 5-7pm every weekday as a happy hour type amenity. The beauty of a Table Tap self pour system is that a property can use controls to tailor its operational budget. If the property’s operational expenses are getting too high, they can always constrict the availability of the system or lower residents’ daily dispense limit.
We have seen that the average apartment goes through anywhere from 2-6 kegs/month depending on their offering. Less than two kegs a month may mean the system is being under-utilized. More than six kegs a month may mean the system is being over-utilized, depending on the property’s operational budget.
Another way to cut down on keg expenses is to partner with a local brewery. Breweries absolutely love apartments with Table Tap systems. If they can get one of their beers on tap at a nearby apartment complex, it is phenomenal marketing for them. Local breweries may even bid against each other to get a spot on one of the apartment’s taps. Depending on local regulations, breweries may be able to offer kegs at significantly discounted prices.
How Can a Community Leverage the Amenity to Achieve an ROI?
By offering the system as a free amenity, it will actually allow the property to see a greater ROI than if they were charging for pours. To reiterate, the system will be much more valuable to residents if the beverages are free rather than at a direct cost. You aren’t investing in an appliance, you are investing in one of the property’s greatest marketing tools. The multifamily communities that benefit the most from our self pour system are the ones who advertise it the best. See the below quote from a property manager at Revel Ballpark, one of our multifamily customers:
“They love it! They want more! This thing right here closes deals by itself. It catches people’s attention on tours. Sometimes after showing the system to someone and explaining how it works, we’ve had people say, ‘I’ll sign a lease right now.’ “— Property Manager, Revel Ballpark
Make the self pour system a focal point on tours. Take a staff card with you so you can show the prospect how the system works and maybe even pour them a small sample. Blast the system on your website and social media . Make prospects aware. They may be coming from another apartment that had a kegerator installed but was probably abandoned and never even turned on. That’s because it wasn’t a Table Tap system. Make sure residents know that they will have regular access to free beverages and watch the signed leases come in.
Advertise it on your website!
Post it on social media!
Check out this TikTok that was posted by a resident at one of our multifamily customer’s community. This video has 800K views, 73K likes, and 300 comments all raving about how cool the system is.
Engage with prospects on social media!
People love the Table Tap system, check out the type of engagement you can get on social media through advertising the system:
There are ways to generate revenue indirectly off self pour. Residents recognize how valuable this amenity is. Because they benefit so greatly from the amenity and they love it, the apartment has the ability to charge more in a monthly fee whether its monthly rent or an amenity fee. Residents will be more than willing to pay it.
Another way to generate some indirect revenue is to sell the RFID card to residents as a type of enrollment fee. That enrollment fee multiplied by the number of residents that receive an RFID card can cover the costs of the amenity.
As mentioned previously, alcohol policies do vary city by city. If you are an apartment looking to charge increased monthly fees or an enrollment fee for the tap system, please do your due diligence in researching local policies and laws.
The Table Tap amenity enhances the resident experience and increases resident satisfaction. It is a marketing tool that should be leveraged to portray the benefits it brings to tenants. It’s a differentiator that attracts and retains tenants. Because of this, it is an amenity that gets leases signed and adds value to a property making it well worth the investment. If you’re in the multifamily industry and have any interest in learning more about a Table Tap system, please reach out to us.
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