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Oct 2, 2015
Article #315
Author: Mel Jones

The restaurant business is tough enough to make money, but when the state is out to constantly pass laws to squeeze the restaurant owner's margins, the restaurant owner needs to use technology to remove cost. In California, where the minimum wage (now called the living wage), in the next few years is headed toward the $20 hour rate in many areas, restaurant owners are re-thinking how they can manage their bars. 

One way that may catch-on is the self-serve beer taps, which removes a bartender, who always overpour, hand out free drinks, pocket the $20 bills, etc. 

The new technology can measure and charge by the sip. The Barrel Republic in Oceanside and Pacific Beach is one of the first to adopt and experiment with this technology. And the customers love it!

Remember when soda was dispensed by a server? Remember when self-serve yogurt shops popped up in the early 2000's and how people would fill-up their bowl with yogurt and get it weighed and pay 5 bucks for the same bowl they use to pay $3 from a server? Well the self-serve beer tap concept is the same. The customer gets to taste the beer, and they love the freedom of sampling. They don't have to wait for a bartender to get their beer, nor deal with the attitude of a bartender either. 

This technology can be installed by iPourit, a Santa Ana based company. The co-founder of the company, Joseph McCarthy says that his "goal is to really redefine the concept of craft beer dispense."  Their system requires drinkers to provide an ID to receive a wireless bracelet or card that enables them to operate the tap.  

This technology costs about $25,000 for a wall-mounted 20 tap system.  There is also a monthly maintenance fee. 

But things aren't always so rosy.  Some people want the interaction with a bartender, especially the good looking ones! In addition, customers tend to be sloppy with pours, especially when they're getting buzzed, causing spills and sticky pour areas. So no doubt the bar owner needs to spend more on keeping the tap area clean. 

This technology may revolutionize the craft beer business, or it may fade into the sunset and another screwy Chipotle! 


Mel Jones is one of the premier restaurant brokers in the nation having published hundreds of articles on buying and selling a restaurant and bar business, selling thousands of restaurants in CA., WA and AZ and building one of the most copied business models in the brokerage industry.  Mel started SellingRestaurants in 2004 with the one simple concept, give the buyers the information they need to make intelligent buying decisions without being pestered by a broker or hiding information, prepare the business for market by researching key details that make or break deals and educate the buyer on the buying process to create an intelligent buyer.  Prior to SellingRestaurants, Mel was a Chief Financial Officer for Universal Music Group, the largest music company in the world.  There he participated in more than $11.5 billion of merger and acquisition transactions.  He also work for top companies such as Nestle Foods, USA. He hold a Bachelors in Business Administration Finance as well as attened Law School at Gonzaga University.  Give Mel a call at 480.274.7000 or e-mail him at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

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