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Understanding Beer Drinkers, One RFID-Enabled Pour at a Time

Pacific PourHouse is among the most recent companies to launch an RFID-based self-serve beer wall that not only has put beer pouring in the hands of customers, but also feeds intelligence about drinking habits to management, helping them stock the most popular beverages.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 11, 2018

When the Pacific PourHouse pub opens this month in Union City, Calif., it will feature a self-serve beer system using radio frequency identification, that will allow customers to pour beer by the ounce. The East Bay restaurant and bar will be among the latest businesses to incorporate UHF RFID technology to allow customers greater control regarding which beers they buy, as well as how much. In the case of the Pacific PourHouse, the data being collected by the system will enable it to tailor its offerings based on demographics and user interest. In the future, it plans to offer loyalty programs for frequent patrons.

By offering a self-serve beer wall, the restaurant expects to not only put the beer tap in the hands of its customers, thereby providing greater autonomy, but also better prevent underage drinking or over-consumption. The RFID-based solution is provided by iPourIt.

Deb Dutta, Pacific PourHouse's CEO, says the company offers the second such self-serve beer wall in the Silicon Valley—and the first that serves as a center piece to a new business. While some restaurants are adding beer walls to their existing bars, Dutta explains, "Ours is the other way around." Since the pub is newly established, he adds, "We can build our business around the self-serve beer wall."

However, iPourIt notes that the majority of its installations are at new establishments. The business, Dutta notes, includes a full-service food offering as well, so that patrons can receive personal service when selecting, ordering and receiving their meals, even while sampling and selecting beers. According to Dutta, Pacific PourHouse will cater to a young, technically savvy base of customers who not only are comfortable with technology, but also enjoy craft beers.

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