The Importance of Temperature

Ensuring the proper temperature of beverages and across your entire beverage system makes a difference in taste, experience, and profit. Staff may know the ideal temperature for storing wine, keeping kombucha fresh, and serving the perfect beer, but seemingly tiny habits can drastically affect temperature and therefore, your product. Storage temperature can affect beverage foam, carbonation, and flavor, impacting the customer experience and your revenue. As simple as it is for temperature to negatively impact your venue, it’s just as simple to implement processes that can prevent unwanted temperature changes. Read on to learn more about the effects of temperature on beverages and how Sestra’s TapWise technology takes the guesswork out of managing your product temperatures.


Beer foam is a result of a phenomenon known as nucleation. Proteins with a high rate of hydrophobicity form bubbles with the help of CO2 produced in the fermentation process. Thick, compact, and long lasting foam aerates beer’s aroma and affects taste sensations.

Increased temperatures can create too much foam, causing your lines to fill. Foam is 25% beer so when you have to clear your lines, that foam becomes wasted beer, causing your venue to pour revenue down the drain. When you consider the effort involved in ordering, stocking, moving, and connecting each keg, it is important to ensure that every ounce turns into revenue for your venue.

Beverage temperature and foam

These graphs illustrate a venue’s storage temperatures and resulting top offs due to foam. As you can see, at the same time temperature spiked, the venue was topping off 1 in 3 beers, as a result of increased foam. 


As temperatures increase, carbon dioxide separates from your beverage, causing carbonated beverages like prosecco and kombucha to lose their characteristic “fizz”.  This also often results in lost revenue due to the need to replace a drink. “Flat” is a common beverage complaint that can often be avoided by optimizing temperature.

When beer begins to go over 38 degrees, even by as little as half a degree, the CO2 begins to come out of solution and  creates major foaming issues.  


To put it simply, cold beverages stay fresher longer and taste better. While higher temperatures don’t result in a specific taste, they speed up the oxidation process, causing beverages to stale prematurely or enter a second stage of fermentation. Beer, for example, can develop a cardboard-like flavor, lose its hoppiness, and have a degraded aroma. 

Most cold brew coffee becomes bitter and metallic if not kept properly chilled. 

The above issues all impact…

The Customer Experience

What happens when a venue serves beverages that haven’t been stored at the proper temperature? Customers won’t stay customers for long and both your bottom line and your reputation are affected. Prioritizing beverage temperature in storage, in the line, and through dispensing, contributes to the ideal beverage and a positive customer experience. 

5 Ways Your Venue Can Prevent Unwanted Temperature Changes:

1. Train staff to rotate kegs quickly, minimizing the time kegs are between refrigeration

2. Keep walk in doors closed at all times

3. Schedule defrost cycles well outside of service hours


Your refrigerator intentionally turns off to raise the temperature during defrost cycles (pictured above). Scheduling these cycles at least 3 hours before beverage service prevents your inventory from freezing while ensuring beverages are the proper temperature when dispensed.

4. Place light beers furthest from the door as they’re most impacted by high temperature

5. Sign up for Sestra temperature alerts 

TapWise temperature alerts occur in real time, warning staff of potential issues and allowing your venue to solve problems before they happen. You can check your temperature trends to isolate behaviors that are increasing temperatures and affecting your product. In addition to the alerts your venue and staff receive, Sestra’s Pour Center Control monitors customer temperatures on an ongoing basis as a part of our Dispensing as a Service (DaaS) solution.

While seemingly tiny habits can sabotage your inventory, simple changes can optimize storage temperature, resulting in just the right amount of foam, carbonation, and flavor. Not only can TapWise send alerts that help you address problems before they can negatively impact your product and the guest experience, Sestra’s Customer Success team can help your venue analyze data, isolate trends, and update practices. Whether you’re ready to implement TapWise beverage dispensing or ensure you’re getting the most out of your current Sestra service, contact us today. 

Sestra’s Self Serve Dispensing Integration with CLEAR Debuts

As the industry leader in smart, cloud-connected beverage dispensing, Sestra partnered with CLEAR, the secure identity platform, to deliver on Marriott International’s vision for innovation in guest services at The Americas Lodging Investment Summit. Sestra and CLEAR demonstrated their joint solutions to provide menus, ordering, age verification, payments, and dispensing for an easy to use self-service lobby bar. 

Held earlier this year, attendees at the 2022 Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, had the opportunity to see the power of Sestra’s self-serve technology and CLEAR’s opt-in age verification capability together and showcased within the Marriott brand area. The innovative solution received positive interest from hotel investors and owners. 

Thanks to Smart Dispensing, it is easy for guests to pour themselves beer, wine, cocktails, cold brew, and more. The intuitive self-serve capabilities create increased efficiency and maximize revenue while creating a frictionless guest experience with faster speed of service.

Self-service bars and kiosks offer different ways to provide guest amenities, create new revenue opportunities and can play a significant role in overcoming labor challenges for beverage sales. Smart Dispensing also drives service efficiencies, freeing up staff to focus on other areas of the business.  

Interested in learning how Sestra’s integration with CLEAR can benefit your venue? Contact us today or check out

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.

22 Things You No Longer Have to Do After Installing Smart Dispensing

Not only does technology connect us with others, it can connect our tools and data. Sestra utilizes technology to benefit your entire venue- from management, concerned with increasing profits while decreasing waste, to the bartenders slinging drinks on the front line. Interested in implementing technology to make your life easier? Here are 22 things (and counting) you no longer have to do after installing Smart Dispensing.

1. Hold open a tap handle

With one touch and touchless dispensing, bartenders no longer have to hold open tap handles. Instead, they can interact with guests, prep other beverages, and communicate with staff, knowing they’re dispensing the perfect pour, down to a fraction of an ounce. Handle-free taps also ensure a smooth, fresh pour by eliminating friction, maintaining in-line pressure, and keeping air away from your product.

2. Shake a keg to see if it is empty or to figure out how much is left

No need to shake or guess how much wine, beer, cocktail, etc is left in the keg when Sestra’s Smart Dispensing system tracks inventory for you.

3. Go around and lock taps with padlocks and keys

Lock taps with the push of a button on your personalized Remote Station Manager. You can even set up automated locking and unlocking schedules to cut off pouring after last call, at the seventh inning, or at any regular, designated time. 

4. Open a tap and pour off foam

Smart FOBs (Foam On Beer) keep your beverages flowing smoothly by controlling pressure and preventing foam from filling the line. 

5. Measure pour sizes in a glass or jigger

No need to use cups, jiggers, or speed pourers to measure ingredients or drinks. Smart Dispensing apportions the perfect pour, down to a fraction of an ounce.

6. Count the number of drinks you poured

Your Smart Dispensing platform counts pours for you, accumulating data that helps you determine how much inventory to order, staff to have scheduled, and seasonal (or even daily) trends to account for. 

7. Open the tap only to find out the keg has kicked

There are no surprises when Smart Dispensing is tracking your inventory. Receive alerts when kegs are running low so staff is prepared to switch them out.

8. Call someone and tell them a keg is empty

Set up alerts that notify the appropriate staff members when a keg is ready to be changed.

9. Pour bottles of wine down the drain because they oxidized

Smart Dispensing protects wine from oxidation and premature spoilage in the keg, through the chilled lines, up until it pours into the glass.

10. Count inventory at the end of the night

Smart Dispensing is way more than hardware. Your system tracks inventory, eliminating the task from your closing checklist.

11. Monitor your line cleaners to see if they were actually cleaned

Control the who, what, and when of every cleaning with automated alerts and maintain hygiene standards.

12. Worry about beverage theft (whether intentional or not)

Link dispensing usage directly with your Point of Sale data, holding staff accountable for every pour.

13. Physically walk to the cold room to check temperature, FOBs, or keg volumes

Rather than walking to your cold room, or having to be onsite at all, refer to your Remote Station Manager to ensure temps are just right, FOBs are performing properly, and keg volumes are adequate.

14. Pay for trash pickups for too many bottles

Dispensing beer and wine on tap allows your venue to ditch the bottles and save on trash pick up and reduce your carbon footprint.

15. Be on-site to see what you are pouring

Remote Station Manager allows you to view what is being poured, update menus, and even change access rules.

16. Call your vendor multiple times for service calls and worry about whether or not they will show up

Sestra customer success representatives respond within 15 minutes and can be scheduled when assistance is needed on site. 

17. Hire third parties or consultants to ensure your new beverage system design is sound and provides future flexibility

Our team of industry experts are your consultants, there to evaluate and update your hardware and software as needed.

18. Worry about whether you should wait for the next revision before you purchase

No need to wait to implement automations that will save you money and man hours. Your Smart Dispensing solutions are future-proof, allowing you to upgrade to the best of the best, as soon as it’s available.

19. Worry that you’ll have to upgrade your hardware again in five years

Dispensing as a Service allows Sestra to be your long term solution partner. We offer the best and newest technology as soon as it’s available and continually educate and train your staff to get the most out of your Smart Dispensing system. 

20. Pay more to have the latest and greatest equipment and features

The latest and greatest is included in your Dispensing as a Service solution- no surprise charges here!

21. Invest in a different beverage solution for each application

Your food and beverage ecosystem is connected with two-way data and control using Sestra’s API-driven platform. Smart Dispensing also links dispensing usage directly with otherwise siloed data such as POS data, guest behavior, loyalty programs, and inventory details.

22. Wonder if automation would have made the job easier

Automation ensures consistency and reliability while reducing waste and enhancing the guest experience. Automation 100% makes the job easier and when you’re utilizing Smart Dispensing, you can be confident that you’re employing automation across your connected solution. 

If you are already a Sestra customer and want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of your system, contact your customer success representative. If you’re ready to become a customer so you can stop worrying about these 22 things you no longer have to do after installing Smart Dispensing, contact us HERE.

Your Technology Backed Solution to the Labor Shortage

The labor shortage is an increasingly credible threat to the hospitality industry. While consumers are headed back to hospitality businesses in droves, workers are not. The U.S. Labor Department reported 1,378,000 unfilled jobs at restaurants at the end of September of 2021. The quit rate in accommodations and food services was at 6.6%, over double the average rate across all industries. While Insider reports that restaurants are raising prices, cutting opening hours, and even closing down for good, there is another solution. Internet of Things (IoT) Technology. Implementing technology, automations, and controls through Smart Dispensing for beverages can help hospitality businesses cut down on labor needs while delivering frictionless service.

Labor Shortage in Restaurants and Bars

Integrating technology into existing practices allows restaurants and bars to decrease labor needs without compromising customer service. One touch and touchless Smart Dispensing allow bartenders and servers to save time measuring beverages, mixing cocktails, and tracking and replacing inventory. Each staff member has the capability to serve and engage with more customers thanks to the ease and precision of Smart Dispensing.

Interested in taking your technology one step further? Self-serve ordering and beverage fulfillment stations allow customers to take their orders into their own hands. While customer service will never be obsolete, staff that used to man registers can instead help prepare food, clean facilities, and attend to other guest needs. In addition to saving on labor needs and costs, self-serve stations receive more orders than staff members who take orders. Deepthi Prakash, global director of product and marketing for an Omnicom Group Inc. advertising agency told The Wall Street Journal that “diners are more likely to place bigger orders and add more substitutions when they order digitally because they can hide their embarrassment from servers”. In addition, “People order more and the tables turn over faster, because they can get their orders and they can get their bills sooner.”

QR codes and Bring Your Own Device technology also allow restaurants to update their menus, ingredients, and offerings seamlessly. Rather than reprinting and distributing paper menus, online menus accessed through consumer tech reduces waste and labor. 

While self service and Smart Dispensing are becoming more commonplace in restaurants and bars, the same technology can be implemented throughout the hospitality industry, offering the solution to the labor shortage at stadiums, in hotels, on cruise ships, and more.

Labor Shortage at Stadiums

Stadiums and arenas possess labor needs, such as cooks and security, that remain assets to the industry. Positions that cannot be seamlessly replaced by technology are more easily filled when there are fewer unfilled positions to compete with. As in restaurants and bars, stadium cashiers and bartenders can be aided by Smart Dispensing and even replaced by self-serve stations. IoT technology also provides connected solutions that track inventory, predict when and where inventory is needed, and can be programmed to automatically lock and unlock taps.

Jonathan Stahl, Vice President of Ballpark Operations for the Washington Nationals shares how simple it is to halt serving at the bottom of the 7th inning, “With the click of a button, we can just turn off service for everybody. And then we can pull reports and find out to make sure that our servings are matching up to what we’re ringing up in the point of sales system as well and hold our staff accountable.” 

In addition, granting access to third-party vendors, where appropriate, allows stadiums to work smart rather than duplicating roles across their own staff.

Labor Shortage at Hotels 

Both the labor shortage and hotel cleanliness policies have been exacerbated by the onset of Covid-19. Sestra’s Smart Dispensers help alleviate both issues through alerts. Alerts can be set up to notify the appropriate staff of which stations need attention and when, based on volume, temperature, cleaning schedules, and more. Not only does Smart Dispensing increase efficiency which reduces labor needs, communicating your cleanliness standards may also help assuage concerned staff and applicants. Additionally, Sestra’s Smart Dispensing technology eases operations, increases speed of service, and offers consistency, all while integrating with guest folios and property management systems. Just as self-service helps reduce labor needs in restaurants, bars, and stadiums, mobile bars, tap walls, and other self service stations allow hotels to streamline their restaurant service and monetize their lobbies without incurring additional labor needs. 

Labor Shortage on Cruise Ships

Not only are cruise ships experiencing similar labor shortages to restaurants, stadiums, and hotels, they endure the additional challenge of limited capacity for inventory and staff. Sestra’s Smart Dispensing can help by pinpointing inventory needs to match pouring activity. This ensures that the crew always has what they need to serve guests, while reducing excess cargo on the ship, which minimizes fuel use in loading and unloading in port and weight on the ship. Alert dashboards also show which bars need attention, highlighting exactly where resources are needed, solving problems before they occur. Not only do these tactics reduce excess inventory, they’re your solution to the labor shortage and help you offer your guests frictionless service. 

While Sestra has been perfecting and distributing IoT technology since our inception, the labor shortage has exacerbated the need for the hospitality industry to streamline their technology and implement Smart Dispensing. Our cloud-connected solutions enable customers to maximize profit by preventing loss, improving service speed and quality, easing operations, and reducing labor needs. Whether your venue is interested in streamlining service behind the bar, offering self service, or both, contact us today to learn how we can help you implement your technology backed solution to the labor shortage. 

Liquor on Tap

Sestra has expanded our TapWise Smart Dispensing solution to pour straight from liquor bottles. Liquor on tap brings the benefits of programmed pour control, actionable data insights, operational efficiency, and improved design to even more areas of your beverage program. Our cloud-based IoT controls, integrated management features, and data-backed insights relay everything from churn rate to predictive volume needs, making compliance, inventory, and service run more smoothly. While portion control ensures consistency in every drink your guests receive, one-touch and touchless dispensing increase speed of service, allowing your guests to spend less time in line and more time enjoying your venue

Liquor on Tap Offers More Control

Pour Control 

Our patented TapWise technology dispenses the perfect pour every time. Consistent pouring eliminates loss from overpouring and increases yield.


Eliminate setup and teardown processes with liquor on tap by implementing lockable taps and automated schedules. Venue managers can lock taps from anywhere, anytime with Remote Station Manager or by setting up an automated schedule. Locked taps eliminate any unauthorized pours, increasing peace of mind.

Easy Maintenance 

Bottles are easy to attach and there is no mess or spillage with clean dispensing technology. Plus, the system can be cleaned in place with no disassembling.

Receive Actionable Analytics

Operational Ease 

Inventory and compliance run more smoothly with real-time data analytics and integrations for Point of Sale, inventory management systems, and more. 

Integrated Inventory 

Multi-data stream analysis integrates dispensing information directly with your Point of Sale and inventory systems for seamless reporting. Your venue can even set up automated ordering.

Monitoring and Alerts 

TapWise keeps track of temperature, volumes, shelf-life, bottle use rates, and more to keep you on top of service without all the manual counts.

Improve The Guest Experience

The benefits of Sestra’s Smart Dispensing platform and TapWise for bottles extend beyond tracking every pour. 

Quality Service 

Automated dispensing increases speed of service and guest engagement. In addition, pour control ensures every drink is exactly the same.

Increased Speed of Service 

One touch Push to Pour and touchless MultiSense dispensing allow servers to pour multiple beverages in quick succession without wasting time measuring, giving them more time to create memorable experiences for guests.

Better Beverage Quality 

Programmed portion control and alerts on everything from temperature to time since opening ensure every sip is perfect for your guests.

Our customers, from large performing arts centers to intimate restaurants, recognize the level of service that TapWise provides for their guests.

“Our bartenders are easily able to just press the button, pour the exact amount, then move on to the next guest and focus on offering hospitality as opposed to worrying about exactly how much of that beverage should be poured into the glass.” – Jonathan, our partner at Nationals Stadium

Liquor on Tap Offers Flexible Design

With a small footprint and various configurations for on-counter and under-counter options, TapWise for Bottles meets the needs of any venue, large or small. Your venue can also choose from visible or invisible bottle placement as well as one-touch Push to Pour or touchless MultiSense that serve from any sized liquor bottle. 

Dispensing as a Service (DaaS)

At Sestra, we don’t believe in deliver-and-dash. Our unique solution and Dispensing as a Service model keep our goals directly aligned with yours, offering ongoing value through futureproofed solutions and support.

Futureproof Solutions

We offer the best of our technology and software as soon as it’s available for as long as you’re a customer.

Industry Experts 

Our team members are your consultants, there to build the best solution with you.

Monitored Support 

Our platform provides our team with real-time visibility. This data allows us to predict and resolve potential issues before they can negatively impact your venue.

Ongoing Customer Success 

Continued education and consultative Customer Success ensure you get the most out of our solution from day 1 to day 101 and beyond. We work with customers to improve their beverage program month over month, season over season, and year over year. The expansion and growth within existing customer venues if proof that our approach works.

“When we tell Sestra something can’t be done, that’s the point they’re going to rise to the challenge and make it happen. I really appreciate that flexibility and creativity. I’m really proud of the relationship we’ve forged with Sestra.” – Maggie at Warner Theatre

Ready to make your beverage service work harder so you don’t have to? Contact us today to learn more about liquor on tap and one of our service specialists will walk you through how TapWise can futureproof your beverage program.

Why Venues Are Embracing Connected Solutions

This article about why venues are embracing connected solutions, written by Sestra staff, originally appeared on Restaurant Development + Design’s website on January 11, 2021.

We live in an increasingly connected world. From Internet of Things (IoT) devices in our homes to connected Point of Sale platforms in retail, smart technology is helping people become more efficient and empowering businesses to stand out. Restaurants and other venues are embracing connected solutions through greater visibility and control that improves the bottom line.

Why Connected Solutions are Taking Hold

Streamline Operations

Multiple food and beverage technology systems that collect data are emerging, but bringing individual service elements online is just the beginning. The right system needs to combine information that would otherwise be siloed – such as Point of Sale, inventory, and dispensing data – and analyze it to create a full picture of operations. 

Sestra’s Smart Dispensing™ platform creates a centralized hub and uses the combined streams of data to analyze and automate controls over dispensing, access, ordering, and more. Features such as real-time monitoring and automated text alerts eliminate the need to manually check product volumes or system status. With Sestra installed, scarce labor resources can be reallocated away from inventory and audits and over to creating a better guest experience.

Increase Revenue and Profits 

Food and beverage programs often suffer from loss, both on the inventory and sales side. Technological advancements have begun to change that. Replacing manual practices, such as measuring servings, marking cups, or counting bottles and kegs by hand with IoT-connected devices eliminates multiple forms of loss – from theft to over-pouring. 

Sestra’s TapWise™ solution for beverage dispensing uses our patented Pour Control System to electronically control every aspect of dispensing. Sophisticated technology throughout the line protects product quality and service conditions. In addition, hands-free dispensing increases speed of service and real-time alerts prevent costly service interruptions. A wealth of data insights are available to inform business decisions, such as just-in-time ordering or menu changes based on what’s truly selling. Venues can increase their yield, selling more while purchasing less inventory. 

Enhance the Guest Experience

The average consumer today is more interested in experiences than products. While a connected solution like Sestra’s Smart Dispensing™ platform streamlines operations and increases yield, it also creates consistently better service for guests. By dispensing virtually hands-free, Sestra frees up servers to concentrate on their guests instead of their taps. They can look up, engage, and create a special flourish that customers are sure to remember. Faster service also helps venues to better manage queues which, in a post-COVID world, makes guests feel more comfortable.

Top venues are embracing the idea that systems they use on-premise are an integral part of the brand-presence they’re building. Installing Sestra’s Smart Dispensing™ solution allows them to link food and beverage dispensing directly to tailored apps, loyalty programs, promotions, and more, creating a unified guest experience. 

How to Bring Technology Into Food & Beverage Dispensing

Sestra Tapwise

“We are a software-driven company focused on solving problems in food and beverage dispensing that traditional hardware companies can’t address,” explained Sestra’s CEO, Lev Volftsun. “The future is connected and the features in our platform give our customers more intelligence and control than ever seen before in the industry.”

Any Product, Any Container, Any Dispenser

Sestra’s solution is the most versatile in the industry, addressing the needs of an entire venue and through a single, multi-product dispensing platform. Our technology can be integrated with any dispenser and pour any product; from wine in kegs and liquor in handles, to coffee in boxes and condiments in bags. The more of a service that is connected, the more data and control benefits multiply. 

New Opportunities for Service

Foodservice is seeing a shift to self-serve with standalone kiosks, in-app ordering, and Bring Your Own Device services. Sestra’s connected solutions make it easy to create additional points of service or set up seasonal service without undergoing costly renovations, committing to permanent installations or requiring additional labor costs. 

Dispensing as a Service

“Quality food and beverage service starts long before the product is dispensed and doesn’t end at the sale,” according to Anju Olson, VP of Channels and Partnerships. “Our platform and service model are built to address dispensing as part of an end-to-end solution. Our customers understand the value of a global, futureproof solution like ours.” Sestra’s solutions are supported by our Dispensing as a Service model and our team of industry experts offer program evaluations, design consultations, training certifications, and ROI evaluations.

How to Optimize Your Venue for Reduced Capacity

The hospitality industry knows how to pivot. From utilizing Bring Your Own Device technology to offering comfortable, outdoor dining year-round, restaurants, cultural centers, and event venues are continually evolving to keep their doors open and their customers happy. An annual pivot that food and beverage businesses have perfected is in response to seasonality. Venues are able to plan for and combat the effects that they can predict are coming. The Coronavirus pandemic, however, has ushered unpredictable and unrelenting challenges that we, at Sestra, want to help businesses combat. Our tips and technology to optimize your venue for reduced capacity will not only prove valuable in the Corona-age, they’ll help bolster customer retention, growth, and sales as “normalcy” returns. So, how can you serve customers at the highest level without overspending on staff?

Increase Points of Service

If you have a large venue and people have to be seated spaced away from other guests or it’s simply not your busiest night, make it as easy as possible for your guests to order food and beverages wherever they are. Self-serve kiosks and mobile bars allow you to stagger serving stations throughout your venue rather than requiring people to congregate in a single line. Self-serve stations keep your patrons distanced and staff from being overworked.

Reduce Friction

Mobile bar benefits are three-fold; not only do they keep your guests safely distanced and staff from burn out, they reduce wait times and congestion. Want to reduce friction and optimize your venue for reduced capacity without adding additional stations? Display signs with QR codes that let customers view your menu and order from their mobile devices wherever they are, whether that’s sitting at a table, wandering through the gardens, or checking out the latest exhibits. This process also allows staff to view customer location and deliver food directly to them so food and and beverage service becomes part of the experience, not ancillary to it.

QR codes can also be used as receipts, allowing customers to order digitally, then pick up their food and drinks by scanning their proof of purchase. Sestra’s touchless dispensers make use of this technology, offering safe and speedy sales and dispensing of beer, wine, cocktails, coffee, condiments, and more.

Make Every Occasion a Special Occasion

Give your guests a reason to leave home and celebrate by hosting special events and offering limited releases. The pop-up bar trend isn’t going anywhere and gives guests a reason to come back to see what’s new. From Christmas themes to tiki bars and everything in between, updated decorations and drink specials give guests an Instagrammable, limited time experience they won’t want to miss. 

Updating themes and specials consistently gives guests something new to look forward to. Whether you offer a new drink special each Friday, change your theme seasonally, or decorate annually for Christmas, make it as seamless as possible to become a part of your guests’ traditions. Then, make these traditions social media friendly with suggested hashtags and photo opportunities like backdrops.

Limited releases and specials are also the perfect opportunity to upsell. Fewer people spending more money is the goal when optimizing your venue for reduced capacity. 

Give it a Feeling of Exclusivity

In addition to limited releases and experiences, incite FOMO (fear of missing out) by circulating an air of exclusivity. Yes, venue maximums are imposed by law, but make it feel like it’s a limited offer that people want with intimate experiences catered to a few people. Use social media to remind your community how many tables you have free each day and encourage them not to miss out. When you do sell out, make sure to mention that too – this serves to increase the sense of urgency. Let your audience know when your offerings will be changing and to “grab a table tonight before we’re at capacity and you miss out on our current specials.” 

Offer Gamification 

Offer guests entertainment in addition to food, drinks, and ambiance, with drink-related games and activities. Trivia nights are a fun way to get guests involved from their tables and spending at the bar. Weekly or monthly trivia is a theme in and of itself that brings customers in the door and coming back for more fun. Drink check-lists and Bingo cards are fun ways to encourage guests to try all of (or a selection) of your drinks. 

Self-serve stations connected to guests’ identification are a great opportunity for gamification through pouring. Individuals can track how much they have poured and work their way to higher statuses offered by your establishment. For example, once a guest has poured 25, 50, or 100 beers, it awards them Bronze, Silver, or Gold status which can come with perks of your choosing like swag, a discount, or a free beer.

Whether you implement one or all of these suggestions to optimize your venue for reduced capacity, Sestra’s TapWise technology can help. Learn more about self-serve stations and guest payment options HERE and contact us to discuss the best solutions for your venue.

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. 

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.