Bring Your Own Device in the F&B Industry

Woman on phone at restaurant
Woman on phone at restaurant

Bring Your Own Device in the F&B Industry

What is Bring Your Own Device

Sometimes, there is such a wide variety of technology being introduced across markets that it’s hard to get ahead of big trends. Other times, a technology emerges that ties others together, expanding their uses and increasing efficiency. One of those trends is Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, and it’s taking the world by storm.

When BYOD first came into fruition, it referred to employees bringing their own computers, laptops, or phones to work. It didn’t feel like something that would revolutionize food and beverage programs. For the user, perception is that their own devices are more up to date and they are able to use them more efficiently because they are accustomed to them. For the company owner, having employees or guests bring their own technology reduces hardware costs. It also keeps businesses out of the technology rat race of trying to have the latest apps, software, interfaces, and devices. Higher user efficiency with less cost to the business explains why Forbes thinks the BYOD market is on course to hit almost $367 billion by 2022, up from just $30 billion in 2014. 

Bring Your Own Device in the Food and Beverage Industry 

The Coronavirus pandemic has made businesses and consumers more conscious of germs and the ways they can spread. According to WebMD, the two germiest things in a restaurant are menus and touch screens, so why bother with either of them in today’s tech savvy world? Simple implementations like QR codes, online ordering applications, and mobile menus keep everyone safer and at a lower cost to the business. 

Particularly in the food and beverage industry, BYOD offers some key benefits for guests and operators alike:

  • Safety- Allowing guests to primarily interact with their own personal devices cuts down the number of high-touch surfaces that could potentially lead to cross-contamination. This doesn’t just protect the guests but also staff working in the venue.
  • Convenience- With the number of smart devices floating around, chances are that guests have easy access to their own mobile device at any given time. Tapping into that available direct line is a great way to eliminate points of friction in regards to service, such as long lines.
  • Experience- Consumers have begun evaluating more than just products – they want a more all-encompassing experience that makes them feel like they can develop a relationship and loyalty with a brand or company. Integrating BYOD helps bring online and on-site activities together, painting a more cohesive picture, and making the investment in loyalty programs even more seamless.

While companies may be concerned about security risks related to employees accessing corporate data from personal devices, the food and beverage industry presents minimal risk. The majority of information being shared, such as beverage specials and reservation availability, is non-sensitive and even monetary transactions through touchless payments are a non-issue. In fact, Forbes notes that “app-to-pay methods were more secure than credit cards because they mask users’ personal data through a process called tokenization,” so your guests’ most important information is even more secure than before. 

How Our Partners Have Integrated Bring Your Own Device Technology 

Use Case- Email Implementation

A hotel partner of Sestra uses Email Implementation to encourage BYOD use at their lobby bar carts. Once a guest checks in, they are sent an email informing them of the hotel’s complimentary beverage service. The email outlines the hours (Monday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) and features a link to their drink pass. Once the guest scans their drink pass at the tap, the tap unlocks, allowing them to pour their complimentary beverage. After the guest has enjoyed their two complimentary beverages, they can continue using their drink pass by purchasing additional beverage credits. 

Similarly, a different hotel partner allows guests to purchase drinks upon check-in. The guest is then sent an email with their drink pass that they can use to unlock the lobby bar and pour their own beverages.

Use Case- App Integration

A co-working space that features Sestra’s TapWise technology integrated BYOD features into their existing app. Patrons are able to purchase beverages through the app, scan a QR code at the station to identify themselves and unlock taps. 

This technology and process is also used at fast casual restaurants as well as ballparks. Guests are able to order through the app, approach the pour station, and scan their code, which unlocks to allow pouring. Conversely, for walk-up service, guests can scan a code on the station, which takes them to a menu where they can order. Once their order is placed and payment is made, the station unlocks and they can touchlessly pour their purchased drink.

So, how can your establishment implement this ever growing trend?

Bring Your Own Device at Your Business 

Whether you’re looking to revamp your entire serving system or simply update your existing hardware and technology to integrate with BYOD trends, Sestra can help. 

Create Your Own QR Codes

While these codes may look complicated, free code generators are available to help you hop on the BYOD trend. One of our favorites is, where we created this QR code that you can show your friends so that they can scan and read this article.

QR Code for Bring Your Own Device Blogpost

Make Reservations

Is your bar, restaurant, or brewery accepting reservations? Not only can you advertise this across your website, social media, and newsletters, you can promote and encourage reservations on site. One way to do this is by posting flyers throughout your parking lot and on your front door. Include a QR code that guests can scan to check availability and reserve their time slot.

View Menu

Forgo printed menus in exchange for QR codes placed at each table. Guests can then scan the QR codes and view your offerings from their own devices. Posted QR codes mean one less thing for servers to clean and deliver to tables and one less surface to carry germs. In addition, menu changes can be updated on your website without having to reprint physical menus, saving your business time and money while also being eco-friendly. Who doesn’t love being green?

Scan For Pick-Up

Is your business offering pick-up? Encourage guests to place their orders and pay from home. This makes the pick-up experience more seamless by simply requiring patrons to show their order confirmation on their device at pick-up. This process saves the time of the staff and guests alike and enabling safe distancing.

Unlock Your Taps

Interested in using Sestra’s TapWise technology to serve your guests like one of the use cases mentioned about? We can integrate with your current technology while also making use of your guests’ devices. Contact us here for more information. 

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