Why You Should Offer Multiple Pour Sizes

“Why You Should Offer Multiple Pour Sizes” was originally published on 5/26/17 and has since been updated.

Offering multiple pour sizes provides your patrons with choice, resulting in increased revenue for your venue. While small, medium, and large aren’t the only options, offering three sizes provides multiple price points for your guests as well as the physiological benefit known as The Decoy Effect. The decoy effect is a phenomenon in which consumers are presented with three choices, one of which is intended by the vendor to be a decoy. The decoy option influences the consumer to purchase the more expensive option, choosing the best deal over spending the least amount of money. Read on to discover the benefits of offering small, medium, and large servings as well as which size serves as the decoy effect.

Small Pour Sizes

Small pour sizes depend on the beverage being dispensed. For wine, a tasting is typically a 1-3 oz. pour, but for beer and cocktails it can be more. Whether you’re updating your beverage menu, welcoming new guests to your venue, or hosting regulars who like to test their taste buds, offering small pour sizes are a must. Small pour sizes allow your patrons to sample beverages they normally wouldn’t try and learn about different varieties before jumping into a full glass. Offering samples encourages guests to find a drink they truly enjoy before upgrading to a larger size. Ensuring guests are happy with their beverage choices reduces waste and makes them more likely to place additional orders.

Medium Pour Size

Medium pour sizes serve a greater purpose than assuaging Goldilocks. While medium sized pours of beer, wine, cocktails, and kombucha are the perfect pour for enjoying with a meal, they are our “decoy” size when we talk about The Decoy Effect that encourages patrons to size up their beverage selection. 

Here is an example of how to implement your “decoy” within your small, medium, and large offerings: If your venue offers beverages on tap in small (4 ounces), medium (12 ounces), and large (16 ounces) pours at the following price points:

Small (4 ounce): $4

Medium (12 ounce): $10

Large (16 ounce): $12

As the size increases, the price per ounce decreases, encouraging customers to choose the best deal over spending the least amount of money. The most dramatic savings is between the middle and largest pour sizes. The medium, or our decoy size, is meant to increase interest in the largest, most expensive option. 

In the scenario outlined above, the consumer is offered the opportunity to save money per ounce while simultaneously benefitting the venue’s bottom line. 

Large Pour Sizes

While small sizes allow your guests to try out different beverages before they commit and medium sizes pair well with meals, large sizes are for those who already know what they want and are looking for cost savings. And, if you have a specialty beverage or one that’s more popular than the rest, offering them in a larger size will help your revenue stream soar. If a guest doesn’t plan to order a second drink, they may choose a large pour to get the most out of their order. This option is especially popular in event spaces and theaters where guests risk missing some of the action to search out their next drink.

How To

There are several different ways to implement and regulate multiple pour sizes at your venue, including:

Use Different Cup Sizes

If this one seems obvious, that’s because it is. By using different cup sizes, you make it easier for staff to know how much to pour, reducing the likelihood of overpouring. It also puts pours in perspective for guests. Rather than offering a guest who ordered a small a half-full large glass, they receive a small glass that it filled to the brim. 

Use Pre-Packaged Beverages

While pre-packaged beverages are a simple way to ensure you know exactly how much you’re giving your customers, the carbon footprint of bottled beer and wine is exponentially greater than serving beverages on tap.

Utilize a Dispensing System with Pour Control

If you’re interested in an eco-friendly option that also prevents loss, consider utilizing a beverage dispensing system with programmable portion control. Your servers can select the size your guest has ordered without worrying about measuring themselves or hauling bottles out of storage. Beverages on tap also allow your venue to offer a wider range of samples, including beer, wine, pre-mixed cocktails, kombucha, coffee, liquor, and more. 

Offering multiple pour sizes gives your guests the opportunity to try something new, save money per ounce, and ensure they’re happy with their beverage choice. In addition, it gives your bartenders the opportunity to upsell and benefits your venue’s bottom line. If you’d like to learn more about how Sestra’s Smart Dispensing can help your venue track, dispense, and upsell your pours, contact us today.

Unbelievable Super Bowl Food and Beverage Stats

Fans and players alike are prepping for Super Bowl LVI, scheduled to be played on February 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. With viewers tuning in for the game, the commercials, and the halftime show, featuring Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar, viewership is expected to surpass 100 million. Thanks to the popularity of the game and its accompanying food and beverages, Super Bowl Sunday consumption is second only to Thanksgiving and, according to the National Retail Federation, viewers plan to spend an average of $74.55 on food, beverages, and team apparel. 

Super Bowl Food Statistics Infographic

According to Hungry Fan, Americans spend over $387 million on snacks, $130 million on pizza, and over $2 billion on chicken  wings. So, just how much do viewers spend on beer in preparation for the big game? Americans spend around $1.3 billion on beer in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday and consume 325 million gallons of beer on game day. If you can believe these Super Bowl food and beverage stats, every American would have to drink an average of 10 cans of beer! Limited only by what the local beer store offers, it makes sense that home viewers are not shy about enjoying their favorite pint (or ten) during the Super Bowl. But what about the fans enjoying the game from the stadium?

According to Mercedes-Benz Stadium officials, fans in attendance at Super Bowl LIII purchased 117,400 beers and 16,300 hot dogs. The stadium recorded 110,184 different food-and-beverage transactions during the 2019 New England Patriots versus Los Angeles Rams game, including 76,446 credit-card transactions.

While football fans trail MMA fans and hockey fans in terms of average beer consumption, it’s clear that the Super Bowl rivals any other single match in terms of beer sales and consumption. And, regardless of the sport, it’s also clear that stadiums and arenas have immense opportunity for concessions sales which also means immense opportunity for waste and loss. 

Smart Dispensing, however, can help stadiums and arenas eliminate overpouring and reduce waste, getting the most return from their dispensing opportunities. Smart Dispensing pours consistently and accurately, down to a fraction of an ounce, according to pre-set pour sizes.

In addition to reducing beverage waste, Smart Dispensing reduces wait times for both your staff and the fans. Perfect pour technology saves bartenders from having to measure out ingredients and pour sizes while alerts warn staff of low inventory, allowing them to preemptively prep new kegs. A dependable and precise system minimizes wait time for thirsty fans, allowing them to quickly get back to enjoying the game. 

Professional sports may feel a world away from other businesses within the hospitality industry but that’s exactly what it is; a pillar of the hospitality industry. Stadiums and arenas, like hotels, cruise ships, and restaurants, depend on satisfied guests becoming raving fans. If these Super Bowl food and Beverage stats have convinced your stadium or arena to offer frictionless service through reduced wait times and perfect pours, contact Sestra today to learn how we can help. Tuning in for the Super Bowl? Let us know how you’ll be contributing to food and beverage sales on the second largest consumption day in America. 

Smart Dispensing and Thirsty Fans- The Ideal Stadium Combo

While sports fans may attend their favorite team’s live events for support and camaraderie, there’s no denying the allure of stadium hot dogs and an ice cold beer. Sure, you can get those things at home but it’s just different when you’re surrounded by thousands of your closest friends, cheering on your favorite team. 

While passion may look similar across sports, each set of fans have their own eating and drinking habits. So which sports fans drink the most? Read on to find out and to learn how Smart Dispensing can help your stadium improve your bottom line.

While the song implies that peanuts and Cracker Jacks are the go-to baseball stadium staple, 20 million hot dogs and 4.5 million sausages are consumed by Major League Baseball fans each season. And what pairs perfectly with hotdogs? Ice cold beer. Fans enjoy an average of three beers while cheering on their team, with Chicago White Sox fans drinking more than any other fanbase. According to a survey by NJ Online Gambling, the team’s fans consume an average of 4.2 drinks per game and spend $40 or more on drinks per game.

That’s a lot of beer. And a lot of opportunities to improve sales and reduce over-pouring. After working with an MLB park for over six years, we compiled a case study showcasing their beverage program and improvements since implementing Smart Dispensing. The program at the park has grown year over year with more than 200 connected taps driving increased speed of service, better visibility, and easier operations. In the 2021 season, over 2 million ounces flowed through Sestra’s connected taps. Faster service, shorter time between keg changes, and  increased visibility drove an improved fan experience through shorter lines and perfect pours. As a result, the park saw positive ROI in 3 months, 25% volume growth, and 19% increase in yield. Sestra increased beverage revenue at the major league baseball park and revenue per keg by 27%. To learn more about our partnership with this major league park, download the entire case study HERE. While these stats are specific to one customer’s results, similar ROI is seen across sports venues – including hockey.

With Gretzky’s love of hotdogs being what it is (one Redditor calculated he ate 7,224 over the course of his career), it’s no surprise that hockey fans love hot dogs as well. So, how do their beer drinking habits compare to those of baseball fans? NHL fans drink around 3.5 beers per game and their drinking habits are similar whether they’re watching a game from home or live at the arena.  

Mixing it up, football fans favor pizza over hot dogs with 37% of spectators claiming the savory pie as their favorite football food. Luckily, beer pairs well with all stadium offerings, as fans continually prove. While NFL fans trail hockey fans in beer consumption, they average more than 3 beers per game. The Cincinnati Bengals have the thirstiest fans, who claim to average 5.2 beers per game (including their tailgating beverages). 

Let’s not forget MMA and UFC enthusiasts. Unlike the team sports mentioned above, MMA and UFC fighters are alone in the ring but far from alone in the stadium. Fights are typically attended by tens of thousands of fans, most with a beer in hand. Live spectators enjoy an average of 4 beers at MMA/UFC fights, more than any other sports fans. 

While drink preferences and habits differ across sports, one thing is clear; sports fans love beer. With so much beer being poured and served, that’s a lot of opportunity for waste as well as missed potential sales. Having Sestra’s Smart Dispensing and ongoing support in your corner allows your stadium or arena to decrease waste and customer wait time while also increasing efficiency, tap control, and actionable analytics. Learn more by reading Beverage Technology at Stadiums and Arenas or contact us to learn how we can help improve your bottom line. 


How Overpouring Drains Profits and 4 Ways to Plug the Leaks in Your Venue

Overpouring is often unintentional

The most common cases of overpouring are unintentional, caused by a lack of solid measuring practices or tools. Eye-balling a glass of wine or counting out shots for a cocktail are just two examples. Even when performed by highly skilled, honest servers, freepouring alcohol is questionable. Serving sizes are extremely difficult to judge without measuring – the difference between a 5 oz. glass of wine and a 6 oz. glass is almost imperceptible to the human eye.

Overpouring can also be intentional

Intentional overpouring shows up in different forms. Filling a draft beer all the way to the top and pouring off the foam is overpouring. Adding in an extra shot to elicit a larger tip is also overpouring. Topping off a glass of wine to kick the bottle sooner? Overpouring.

All of these actions might seem harmless on a case by case basis, especially to servers who don’t have to get up close and personal with the books. But over time, they will gouge revenue.


Now that we’ve covered the two forms of overpouring – intentional and unintentional – let’s look more closely at the different beverages in your arsenal: wine, liquor, and beer. Making a few assumptions on costs and volume, we can project losses across all three:

A single ounce of overpour on a glass of wine loses you 20% of revenue

We’ll start with wine, which is typically served from 25.4 oz. bottles. Doing the math, that bottle can serve five 5 oz. glasses or four 6 oz. glasses – a 1 oz. difference that’s difficult to see without placing the glasses side by side. If you’re accidentally serving 6 oz. when you mean to serve 5 oz., you’re losing 20% of the potential revenue from each bottle.

Now let’s break it down in terms of potential revenue. If a bottle costs you $7, losing 20% only adds up to $1.40. But, if you’re selling glasses of wine for $9 a pop, losing an entire serving per bottle cuts deeper into your margins.

A single ounce of overpour doubles the amount of liquor in your cocktails

What about cocktails? The amount of liquor in each glass is typically so small that overpouring even a little will double the cost of that serving. The same imperceptible 1 oz. overpour we talked about with wine will now lose you 50% of the potential revenue from a bottle of liquor. Cocktails are unique because the liquor is often poured over ice and mixed with other ingredients, making it even more difficult to accurately freepour. You can’t see exactly how much liquor is going in.

The problem becomes more apparent when we break down the potential revenue. Liquor has a much higher profit margin than beer or wine. The cost of a bottle of vodka can range from $27 for 33.8 oz. on the lower end to $20 for 24.5 oz. for more premium options.

Focusing on the lower end (which is served more often), the cost comes out to $0.80 per ounce. We’ll also assume your guests are paying around $10 per mixed drink. Most cocktails have 1 oz. of liquor in them, which means you can serve 33 beverages per bottle. Overpouring 1 oz. per drink cuts that potential down to 16 servings, losing you $13.50 in cost and $160 in potential revenue per bottle.

 A couple ounces of overpour on a glass of beer loses you thousands of dollars per year

The harm of frequently overpouring wine or liquor is obvious – they come in smaller servings and cost much more. But beer takes up all of the real estate in its glass and the markup per ounce isn’t quite so extreme. Still, don’t write off beer overpouring.

Let’s say a typical half-barrel keg of domestic beer costs around $100 for 1,983 oz. The cost per ounce is around $0.05. According to Nightclub & Bar, a properly poured, 16 oz. beer should have about 2.25 oz. of foam – this allows the carbon to release and affects the taste of the beer. Filling that glass all the way to the top doesn’t just hurt the taste – it also means pouring about 2 oz. more than necessary, a $0.10 loss per glass. Even if you only serve 200 glasses of beer per night, you’re losing $7,300 per year.

Put another way, you’re losing 400 oz. per night – about 25 glasses. If you’re charging as little as $6 per beer, you’re still losing $150 per night. Considering the average bar can serve over 1,000 beers on a weekend night, those lost servings add up to a huge chunk of change.


We can all agree that overpouring – intentional or unintentional on wine, liquor, or beer – is bad for business. Here are a few ways to put your beverage program on track:

Take stock of your venue

It’s difficult to solve a problem without knowing how big it is. Start by evaluating your entire program. You want to have a complete picture, from what your pour costs should be to which products aren’t popular with guests.

Then, if you don’t know where to begin, start by tightening up inventory practices. Set up a regular schedule for inventory and make sure you’re counting the same way every time. Even something as small as always starting at the left and moving right as you count will help increase efficiency and accuracy. If you need more guidance, the Bevspot blog has a good in-depth guide. Once you’ve established your new and improved system, train your employees to assist and keep an eye out for specific issues.

Train employees properly

Make sure your entire staff is knowledgeable on pouring procedures. Discourage them from pouring multiple beers at a time, opening a tap before the glass is fully under it, or topping off cocktails with a little extra booze. Providing a resource that clearly lays out your venue’s “best practices” is a great way to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

If you still encounter problems, it’s better to show than to tell. Bartenders and servers don’t have the same insight into venue sales, revenue, and losses as you do. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. If you hold a regular meeting to go over important figures, your staff can invest themselves more in the business. Really drive the point home by filling up buckets with water to show the amount of shrinkage per month. This will give everyone a clear idea of just how much poor practices cost.

Measure with the right tools

Jiggers, measured pouring spouts, and other precision tools are an excellent investment. While they may add some extra time to service, your bottom line will appreciate the patience. And, guests will be more satisfied with beverages that are properly measured – nobody wants a mouthful of liquor when they’re expecting a fruity refreshment. Another alternative is glassware marked with portion sizes. Something as simple as a line on your wine glass indicating exactly 5 oz. will keep servings in check.

Invest in systems that do the work for you

The beverage industry is finally catching up to the 21st century. Technology is available to take the guesswork (and human error) out of pouring. It may seem like a big investment but effortless precision will always pay for itself in the long run.

The added bonus of automated solutions is that they will increase speed and quality of service. When your servers can simply place a glass and press a button, they’re free to pour more glasses at once without overpouring. Hands-free dispensing lets them take their eyes off of the tap and do what bartenders do best – engage with guests.

If you invest in a system that tracks as it serves, you can also streamline your inventory process. Data from a connected beverage dispensing solution will compare directly to point of sale and give you a clear view of what you’re losing and why.


Tighter inventory, frequent training, better tools, and increased monitoring are four ways to take stock of your venue’s inner workings and prevent a bad situation before it happens. Letting your servers know the steps you’ve taken to cut down on shrinkage will stop unintentional overpouring and show how serious you are about stopping shrinkage – which will also encourage intentional leaks to plug themselves.