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Going to a restaurant for a quick bite or drink isn’t the same as it was just a few years ago. Advances in bar technology have been made to support staff during the pandemic, keep customers safe, and improve the company’s bottom line.
From natural wine delivered right to your door to a contactless ordering process, customers are experiencing the future of the restaurant industry and being introduced to Industry 5.0. Below are a few advancements in bar tech that have already been implemented.
QR Codes and Contactless Payment
Due to the pandemic, anyone that goes out to eat or drink is probably familiar with the QR codes replacing handheld menus. This is a trend that looks like it will stay well beyond the pandemic, as it makes it cheaper to update menus.
Similarly, contactless payments are estimated to rise from $ 2 trillion in 2020 to $ 6 trillion by 2024. It’s more hygienic, safer, and instant.
Kitchen Display Systems
Digital menu boards are also replacing traditional printed tickets. Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) help kitchen staff at bars clearly see priority tickets and any modifications to a dish.
Because the system is connected to the point-of-sale (POS) system, the KDS can also track inventory and signal to the front-of-house when a product is out of stock. Because it’s 100% digital, this system is more sustainable and streamlines workflow between the front and back of house.
Your next drink might not come from a person but a robot. Establishments around the world are hiring robot bartenders in place of living mixologists to benefit their bottom line and keep employees safe.
At the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas, autonomous arms respond to orders placed by a computer nearby before dispensing a drink and sending it to the edge of the bar for pickup. Other machines like these can actually serve 100 drinks an hour and up to 1,500 cocktails per day.
But that’s not all. A new CGI female bartender coined Cecilia can actually maintain a conversation with a customer. Introduced in 2021, Cecilia.ai uses artificial intelligence to listen and respond to bar guests. While she’s not a hologram, she is dressed pretty snazzy.
During the pandemic, many state liquor authorities gave permits to bars, restaurants, and distilleries to sell alcohol to-go. With alcohol sales making up between 20 and 25% of restaurant revenue, alcohol delivery has been a huge benefit for many businesses.
Although alcohol delivery isn’t permitted in all states, and laws vary from state to state, the International Wine and Spirits Record found that while only 19% of consumers purchased alcohol online in 2019, 44% did in 2020.
Drizly, an online beverage delivery service, has seen its business more than triple since 2019. To accommodate booming demand, Drizly even increased its workforce by 62% in 2020.
According to Upserve, delivery sales could rise an annual average of 20%, reaching $ 365 billion worldwide by 2030.
Air Purification Systems
To ensure customers feel safe returning to restaurants and bars, many establishments are integrating air purification system technology. These systems use ultraviolet lights to sanitize air and surfaces or bipolar ionization technology, which can be used in HVAC systems to produce positively and negatively charged particles.
Tests done by Microchem Laboratory in 2020 found that AtmosAir’s bipolar ion technology reduced the presence of COVID-19 by 99.92% within 30 minutes of exposure.
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