Top Tech Moves for 2010

Keeping up with technology is one of the all-important aspects of running a nightclub or bar, from understanding new marketing techniques to updating back-of-the-house operations. Here’s what to watch for — and stay in touch with — in this new year.

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Point-of-sale systems that communicate with draft technologies and liquor dispensing systems will open up a whole new level of real-time sales reporting and the ability to identify where and how loss is occurring. What’s more, integrating dispensing systems with sales technologies also will yield immediate insights into sales trends and opportunities. Forerunners on this front are Tap Dynamics and MicroMatic, which together deploy a system that can track beer as it flows from keg to glass and bring POS data into the analysis for comprehensive accounting of each ounce pulled, spilled and sold.

RFID-Enabled Inventory Control
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags may turn up on more bottles behind bars as the glitches are worked out of this wireless technology. Systems such as those offered by Beverage Metrics and BarVision involve wireless tags that emit radio signals every time a bottle is picked up and poured, feeding information into software that manages inventory in real time and often integrates with the POS system. We see more bar owners being alerted to bottles being poured after closing…

Apps, Apps, Apps!
From iWhiskey to the Guinness Pub Finder, thirsty patrons are using their mobile phones to learn about, locate and in some cases order their favorite libations. In 2010, look for more apps to market brands, bars and nightclubs; several services now assist operators in developing their own apps. Apps are also enabling drink ordering right from the patron’s seat in the bar or nightclub. The guest peruses the drink offerings on his or her mobile phone, places an order that’s communicated to the service bar and is billed automatically to a credit card or pre-paid account. A server can deliver the drink, or for truly impersonal service, a text can be sent to the guest informing him or her the drink is ready for pickup at the bar.

For a list of predicted trends for the coming year, click here.

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