Self-pour bar systems are the restaurant industry's latest craze. And, the RFID technology behind them is helping bar managers better understand their customer's drinking habits.

RFID (Radio-frequency identification) is a wireless technology used to transmit small amounts of data between a tag and a reader. In most cases, (at least in the world of hospitality and events) RFID tags hold little or no information.

Instead, the tag holds an encrypted UID (unique ID number), which when 'tapped' against a reader, unlocks secure information held on an 'RFID system'.

Following us so far? If not, here's a more in-depth explanation of RFID technology.

It's never been easier (and as much fun) to buy your favorite IPA. With a quick flick of the wrist, self-service beer taps such as the iPour system, enable revelers to mix and match a choice of beverages and enjoy them at varying amounts.

All gimmicks aside, we're going to take a look at 5 ways in which RFID wristbands can generate revenue for self-dispensing drink systems.

1. More beer sales

Yup. Put simply, RFID wristbands help customers disassociate themselves with cash, and utilize the novel way of purchasing with a tap of their wrist.

We worked with restaurant chain Oak & Stone on their new RFID bracelets that collect valuable data and allow visitors to purchase beer from their self-serve wall.

Oak & Stone estimate that 25% of its sales go to beer—as opposed to a common average of about 3% of sales—and now has RFID-based data indicating what demographics prefer which brands and beverage types, helping them make important decisions about what they stock and offer to their customers. 

2. A deeper understanding of consumer buying habits

RFID can help collect valuable data on your customers, helping you understand their habits and catering to their needs.

With an RFID wristband system, you can gain real-time analytics of how customers interact with your restaurant, from popular menu items and favorite beverages to the most redeemed coupons and the busiest times. What's more, you can tie all of this data back to an individual using an RFID-based membership scheme. 

This can help you tailor your offering with precision, to create the best experience for your guests and capitalize on the most popular purchases.

3. Personalization & Customer Experience

The levels of personalization offered with RFID technology enables bar managers to cater to the specific needs of their customers. This, in turn, keeps customers happy and increases the chance of return visits, as well as word of mouth referrals.

And RFID service is fast. No more waiting in line. RFID self-pour serves up a cold beer. Fast.

4. Save on staffing costs

We might still be a few years away from letting people descend on an unstaffed bar (I've been to those weddings) but RFID powered self-pour bars will save on staff costs.

Through RFID wristbands, the power is handed to the consumer. No long lines, just the novelty, and convenience of being able to tap, pay and pour your favorite beer in a split second.

5. Deposits

If you're still not sold on the idea of RFID self-service beer. Then consider a deposit scheme for the RFID wristbands.

RFID Ipour wristband

Have customers deposit $5 for the wristband, which is credited if they return the wristband at the end of their visit. If the customer takes the wristband, you just paid for it. If they return it, you can re-issue it at no additional cost.

And consider waiving the wristband cost once customers reach a set spend threshold. After all, the objective here is more beer sales. And, who doesn't want to take home a free wristband!?

Conclusion

RFID-enabled self-pour bars are revolutionizing the bar and nightlife industry. While the gimmicks are clear, it's the revenue-generating facts that are driving the uptake for this state of the art method of dispense.

To all the self-serve RFID beer systems out there. We salute you.