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Beverage Metrics Serves Up Drink-Management Solution

The system's active RFID tags can track the amount of liquor poured at a restaurant or bar, while also tracking bottle inventory in the back room and enabling billing of beverage purchases at banquets.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 24, 2011Beverage Metrics, a startup company based in California, has commercially released its inventory and drink pour management system for liquor and wine. Currently, the system is being trialed by half a dozen hotels, restaurants and casinos to reduce shrinkage and provide a better view into the inventory of beer, wine and hard liquor.

The company uses RFID battery-powered tags and readers from one of its sister firms, Identec Solutions, as well as software from another of its sister firms, InSync Software, to provide the Beverage Metrics Complete Solution that tracks bottles of liquor. A bar's manager can use system to measure how much liquor a bartender pours per drink, based on a tilt sensor in the RFID tag, which operates at 919 MHz and uses a proprietary air-interface protocol. That data is intended to prevent excessive pours or other shrinkage issues (such as pouring drinks that aren't billed for). In addition, the system can provide detailed bar reports at banquets, which can aid in billing customers, such as wedding parties, by tracking exactly how much bottled liquor or wine was poured. If customers choose, they can also use the system to receive an alert if a bottle of liquor or wine disappears from the system (and therefore may have been stolen) or update inventory data to notify management when additional inventory needs to be ordered.

Alcoholic beverage shrinkage plagues the hospitality industry, says Alain Piallat, Beverage Metrics' CEO. About 25 percent of liquor revenues are lost, on average, he adds.

There is at least one other RFID-enabled drink pour management solution on the market, namely Capton's Beverage Tracker (see To Teach Bartenders How to Make Cocktails, Just Add RFID and Vegas Hotel-Casino Uses Tags to Keep Tabs on Liquor). Capton provides an RFID-enabled spout that attaches to the top of a bottle to measure and record the amount of alcohol poured for each drink. The Capton system, however, is not designed for tracking the inventory of unopened bottles.

Beverage Metric's RFID sensor tag clamps onto the neck of a liquor bottle.

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