Sometimes, the robot is… you.
Straight Up Smartender, from the Smart Bar company of Henderson, Nevada, is a self-contained portable automated device that can pour hundreds of cocktail choices.
from martinis and specialty drinks to juices and soft drinks at the touch of a button. Any authorized individual can use it on behalf of a company.
A dispense head ensures the accuracy of the pour within 1/20th of an ounce, officials say.
The liquor drawer holds room for 16 bottles and 12 mixers with easy access to replace empty ones.
A bartender starts the process by tapping the device and inserting an unlock code. Player cards and room keys can also be swiped.
A selection menu includes soft drinks, shots, martinis, tropical drinks, recently poured, user favorites, specialties and liquor/mixer to build one’s own drink.
Straight Up Ice is taken from a dispenser, the glass put under the head, and voila! A drink in seconds, perfectly poured, recorded on a database and placed in a spreadsheet-type list of drink type, time of day and who used it.
Smartender has a feature telling the operator when a bottle is empty.
It also connects to the mixer bay.
And like an ideal employee, it can relocate. In this case, from room to room. Used in stadiums, theaters, hotels and casinos, Smartender is among the family of products trumpeting large savings.
Seemingly minor elements of the bartender-under-pressure scenario become costly. Smartender officials estimate a staggering loss for a simple overpour.
Take the average price of a drink at $5. Multiply that by 15 cases of liquor. In one year, that can amount to more than $175,000 in losses—that’s for one-eighth of an ounce. Imagine a slightly more substantial overpour, not to mention giveaways. Double the loss for drinks costing $10.
There’s overpour, spillage and theft.
Bar owners have long been wary of these problems, employing everything from mystery shoppers to security cameras to curb their impact. Now comes something just as useful to them, and, to some bartenders: another sales associate.
Throughout the industry, automated bar service is gaining momentum. The technology of tomorrow greets the patrons who wanted the drink yesterday, and it’s working. Pick the stylish presentation of a robot or the savvy engineering of a portable drink factory
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