As going out with family and friends and consuming alcohol remains a popular social activity, managing the risks associated with it, particularly overconsumption and underage drinking, continues to be a crucial concern for businesses in the hospitality industry. In the United States, the legal drinking age is 21, and every state abides by that standard, but alcohol remains the most widely used substance among America’s youth. According to the CDC, 5.9 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.
To manage these risks, businesses in the hospitality industry are subject to Dram Shop Laws that hold them accountable for serving alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated individuals. While liability laws vary from state to state, establishments serving alcohol are considered liable for their patrons’ behavior and can have their liquor licenses revoked or suspended. Most businesses have liability insurance to protect them in these instances.
One way to effectively manage alcohol-related risks is through the use of self-pour technology. Despite a common misconception that self-pour technology promotes overconsumption and underage drinking by eliminating staff interaction, it has processes and systems in place to allow businesses to properly and efficiently manage these risks while maintaining an enjoyable experience.
In this blog, we’ll explore how PourMyBeer’s self-pour technology effectively manages overconsumption and underage drinking, as well as the necessary staff training to ensure a safe and enjoyable beverage experience for all.
Self-Pour Technology and Its Advantages
Self-pour beverage technology allows customers to pour their own drinks, providing a more interactive and enjoyable experience. PourMyBeer’s self-pour system uses RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology to track every ounce poured. This allows customers to pay and pour by the ounce while operators can set specific serving limits to reduce the risk of overconsumption and maintain a safer, more controlled drinking environment. Additionally, self-pour technology reduces lines and wait times, providing a more efficient experience for customers.
The self-pour process is simple!
- Step 1: Present your ID and credit card to receive a pour card.
- Step 2: Grab a glass and tap or insert your pour card in the reader.
- Step 3: Pull the tap fully open and angle your glass 45 degrees.
- Step 4: Repeat and enjoy!
How to Manage Underage Drinking
Preventing underage drinking is a critical concern for businesses in the hospitality industry. With PourMyBeer’s self-pour technology, establishments can take several measures to ensure compliance with local and state laws and prevent minors from pouring and drinking alcohol.
One of the essential steps in preventing underage drinking with a self-pour system is age verification and ID checks. PourMyBeer’s self-pour system requires customers to present their ID at the time of check-in to obtain an RFID card or wristband linked to their credit card before they can start pouring. To properly check IDs and ensure each guest is using a real ID, staff members can scan guests’ IDs at PourMyBeer’s check-in terminal. Once a staff member verifies their age, they can begin pouring and enjoying the self-pour fun!
To further ensure compliance with local and state laws, establishments must take the necessary steps to obtain a liquor license. Serving alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated individuals can result in legal consequences such as fines or suspension of the liquor license and even legal action against the establishment. By implementing self-pour technology and adhering to legal regulations, establishments can manage the risks associated with serving alcohol.
How to Prevent Overconsumption with Self-Pour
Setting Serving Sizes
One of the advantages of using self-pour technology is that establishments can set serving sizes for their drinks, which can help prevent overconsumption. PourMyBeer’s system, for instance, limits guests to only pouring two servings on their RFID card. Operators can adjust the serving size for each beverage on tap depending on the alcohol by volume for beer, wine, cocktails, cold brew, kombucha, or another beverage. Typically, a serving of wine is 5-7 ounces, and 10-16 ounces for beer.
When customers reach their two-serving limit, they need to get their RFID card or wristband reauthorized by a staff member to access two more servings. This staff interaction allows establishments to ensure that customers are consuming alcohol in moderation while also giving them the freedom to control their drinking experience.
Although self-pour technology allows customers to take charge of their drinking experience, staff members still play a crucial role in ensuring that patrons drink responsibly. Staff members must check customers’ age before authorizing their RFID card, and they must reauthorize pour cards after the two-serving limit is reached and determine if patrons can continue drinking.
How to Reauthorize a Customer Pour Card
When a customer reaches their drink limit, a message will appear on the screen from which they are trying to serve themselves, indicating that they need a staff member to reauthorize their RFID card or wristband. Reauthorizing the card is a simple task for staff that takes only two clicks. Staff members can also use this opportunity to engage with the customer and assess their level of intoxication.
Monitoring Consumption with Data Tracking and Real-Time Reporting
Self-pour technology also provides establishments with valuable data on customer behavior, which they can use to make informed decisions about their offerings, promotions, and pricing. PourMyBeer’s in-depth analytics and reporting provide detailed sales, inventory, and customer behavior reports, enabling establishments to tailor their offerings to maximize revenue. For example, establishments can use this data to identify popular drinks, adjust pricing, and manage inventory more efficiently. By leveraging these insights, establishments can improve their operations and provide a better experience for their customers.
Training Staff to Promote Responsible Drinking
Training staff to promote responsible drinking is crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of patrons, as well as the reputation and legal compliance of establishments that serve alcohol. Staff members are the front-line defense against overconsumption, underage drinking, and other alcohol-related issues.
One important aspect of staff training is educating them on the risks of overconsumption and the importance of responsible drinking. This involves providing information on the effects of alcohol, teaching them how to identify signs of intoxication, and giving them strategies for managing customers who may have had too much to drink.
Organizations like ServSafe and TIPS offer training programs that are specifically designed to promote responsible alcohol service. These programs give staff members the knowledge and skills needed to ensure that alcohol is served safely and responsibly.
Operators of self-pour establishments should ensure all staff members understand the technology behind the self-pour system. This involves providing training on operating the equipment, scanning IDs, reauthorizing pour cards, and managing customers who may have overconsumed. At PourMyBeer, we offer support and training to all self-pour locations to ensure you are set up for self-pour success. By working closely with our customers, PourMyBeer ensures that staff members are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to promote responsible drinking and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all patrons.
Self-pour technology can be a valuable tool in preventing overconsumption and underage drinking. By empowering customers to pour their own drinks and closely monitoring their consumption, establishments can promote responsible drinking while still providing a fun and enjoyable experience for patrons.
At PourMyBeer, we are committed to responsible alcohol service and offer support and training to all self-pour locations to ensure they’re set up for success. If you’re interested in learning more about how self-pour technology can benefit your establishment, contact us today!