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Cruise Ship Beverages- Seamless Dispensing on Board

Vacationers choose to cruise as a way to disconnect. They’re able to “get away from it all” while also experiencing it all- cruises offer luxury amenities as well as the opportunity to experience multiple cities without having to pack and unpack at each destination. Food and beverage managers, however, must stay connected to provide a premium guest experience. So how can you offer frictionless services while staying connected at sea? Sestra’s TapWise for Cruise Ships offers seamless dispensing through our holistic, integrated system with self-serve and bartended options as well as on ship connectivity. Read on to discover how our solutions can work aboard your vessel. 

Seamless Dispensing

Monitoring and alerts keep everything running smoothly

Your customized Crew App with Remote Station Manager keeps everything running smoothly by providing real-time pour data, alerts on everything from temperature to keg volumes, and controls at your fingertips so you know the status of every bar.

Alerts let you know exactly which bars need attention during service. Remote Station Manager also allows management to control access, pour parameters, cleaning, and more. Preemptively solve issues, before they impact service.

Analytics & reporting for efficient turnarounds

Connected dispensing through TapWise significantly increases visibility and control, allowing your crew to make real time, data-backed business decisions. Reports on inventory churn enable you to make just-in-time inventory decisions, reducing excess cargo on the ship, cutting trash, and leaving you with less to haul. See exactly which bars need attention with the sophisticated alerts dashboard and pinpoint exactly where you need resources to reduce turnaround time in port.

Holistic System 

Build a connected food and beverage ecosystem with two-way data and control using Sestra’s API driven platform. Link dispensing usage directly with otherwise siloed data, including POS data, guest behavior, and inventory details, for a full picture. A holistic system ensures the perfect pour with real-time, multi-stream analysis in an end-to-end system.

Use integrated POS and PMS streams to sync with dispensing usage, preventing beverage waste and resulting in reports that show exactly what needs to be replenished. The most versatile solution in the industry, TapWise fulfills the needs of your entire venue whether your vessel features self-serve, cafeterias, behind the bar, or all of the above. 

Integrated Guest Experience

Create a frictionless guest experience with faster service through intuitive self-serve capabilities. There are multiple ways to offer self-service and track activity through your passenger ID systems, such as wristbands or other RFID devices, or your passengers’ mobile devices. Does your vessel welcome adults and children? Not to worry; Sestra’s e-attended self-serve stations allow for easy age verification integrated directly with your guest management system. In addition, TapWise knows where the boat is located and can adjust permissions and service options accordingly based on whether the ship is in-port vs. out at-sea.

On Premise Edge Connection

No landline? No problem. Our SestraEdge on-premise network takes all of the power of our cloud-based platform to new depths. All of the cloud-based features are enabled, even when the ship is unable to connect, including Self-Serve, Crew App, Alerts, and analytics. SestraEdge services sync with shoreside customer systems automatically when available, making manual monitoring and sync triggers a thing of the past. You won’t be eating up precious bandwidth 24/7.

 

TapWise technology provides unprecedented, real-time visibility, monitored support, continued education, and consultative customer support. Our team of industry experts are your ongoing dispensing partners, available to build the right solution that scales to fit your needs. Ready to set sail? Contact us today to learn more about cruise ship seamless dispensing.

Beverage Technology at Stadiums and Arenas

What’s better than a packed stadium and a winning team? Having Sestra’s TapWise technology and ongoing support in your corner. From waste prevention and the perfect pour to increased efficiency, tap control, and actionable analytics, Sestra can help your venue have a perfect season.

Yield

Whether from beer foam, accidentally pouring a little extra wine into each glass, or topping off a cocktail with some extra liquor, beverage waste and over-pouring happens. With a connected solution that monitors the conditions in the line and throughout every pour, beverage technology at stadiums and arenas can help waste be avoided.

Take our Smart FOBs for example – they detect foam or excess air in your beer lines and close the taps to prevent additional waste. Once the issue is resolved, the FOB is reset and pouring can continue without draining half a keg trying to pour through the foam of a depressurized line. And for wine and liquor, the programmed pour size keeps each serving consistent.

Operational Efficiency

What if the person responsible for replacing your beer and wine kegs knew exactly where one was needed before it even ran out? Or all of your taps could lock automatically at the same time? IoT-connected devices can do all of that and more. 

Beverage managers have control right in the palm of their hands with our Remote Station Manager, allowing them to lock and unlock an entire venue from anywhere. Automated schedules make it even easier and alerts keep you on top of all the action. 

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.” 

Third-party vendors can also gain access to the taps only when you need them to and with limited permissions.

Enhanced Guest Experience

The benefits of connected solutions extend beyond tracking every pour. With TapWise, portion control ensures consistency in every drink your guests receive. One-touch and touchless dispensing also increase speed of service so fans spend less time in line and more time enjoying the game. Servers can also spend less time opening bottles and cans and measuring pours, and more time engaging with guests or ringing them up while the pour finishes on it’s own.

These days, more and more stadiums and event venues are expanding their in-app experiences with mobile ordering and payments. With connected control over dispensing, it’s easy to integrate beverage service directly into your mobile experience, allowing fans to order and pay from their seat, scan a QR code to unlock the tap, and pour for themselves without having to wait to be served.

Monitoring 

As the saying goes, “hope for the best but plan for the worst”. When a problem does arise, it’s imperative to have technology on your side. Taps connected to a cloud-based platform constantly share data back and forth so most issues can be found and resolved quickly, avoiding any service interruptions. On top of that, every action is recorded so there are no questions about where inventory disappeared to.

Having a solution backed up by backend monitoring through the technology as well as a team of experts makes a difference in the way you run your business. Many of the manual processes you would have in place to continuously check things like beverage levels, line cleanliness, point of sale reconciliation, and more are taken care of automatically.

 

From baseball stadiums and soccer fields to concert venues and festival grounds, thirsty fans are everywhere. Sestra’s beverage technology at stadiums and arenas can help ensure those fans receive the perfect pour every time while also preventing waste, increasing efficiency and improving the guest experience, as well as providing control and actionable analytics to help your team stay on top of inventory, cleanliness, and more. Ready to learn more about how Sestra can serve your venue? Contact us today. 

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.

Safety 

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.

Why the Beverage Industry Needs Internet of Things (IoT) Technology

WE WERE TECHNOLOGY PEOPLE. THEN WE WERE WINE PEOPLE. NOW WE’RE BOTH.

We started in the telecommunications industry before turning our passion for vino into a nationwide importer/distributor business. As our client list grew, we became immersed in the beverage industry – end to end – learning and experiencing as much as we could about wine production, packaging, distribution, and consumption. That’s where our story of IoT beverage dispensing really begins.

THE FIRST STEP TO RECOVERY IS ADMITTING YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.

The beverage industry has a few. Because we worked primarily with wine programs, that’s where our clients were expressing frustration. But once we scratched the surface, it was everywhere. From beer and liquor to coffee or even milk, every person in every corner of the industry was experiencing the same issues:

There’s Overpouring.

A LOT of overpouring. When you get down to the specifics, there are two kinds of overpouring: unintentional “eye-balling” or a complimentary top off. Either way, serving more than the proper amount gouges profits. Take wine for example – the single ounce difference between a 5 oz. glass and a 6 oz. glass is difficult to notice unless they’re side by side. But, if you mean to serve 5 oz. glasses and instead are serving 6 oz. glasses, you’re losing 20% of potential revenue. Then there’s pouring off foam from beers and “timed” pouring for cocktails – just think of all the loss.

There’s Theft.

Like overpouring, theft takes two forms. If a bottle (or a case) disappears from inventory, that’s sunk cost. If something is served but never makes it into your point-of-sale, that’s lost revenue. A bottle might set you back a couple dollars for the cost but a glass that isn’t paid for loses you much more. We had clients reporting losses up to 50% due to bottle theft.

There’s Waste.

Perishability is a fact of life throughout the F&B industry, whether it’s food, alcohol, or other beverages. Different beverages have different shelf lives but all good things eventually come to an end. Once opened, a bottle of wine only has a couple days of life left in it. Liquor lasts longer without oxidation but the alcohol will begin to evaporate off and it will slowly lose its “sparkle.” Spoilage is one thing but breakage is another. Even when our clients were moving through stock quickly, accidents happened. Glass is fragile by nature so it only takes a few jostles in transport or a long drop off of a shelf to lose inventory.

There’s Trash.

Take a case of wine, serve its contents, and what are you left with? A dozen glass bottles, corks, labels, foils, and the package it all came in. Glass bottles are sexier and more traditional compared to bland bulk packaging. But, like a good shoe, sometimes you need to choose function over form. Glass is expensive to buy and fill, difficult to package, cumbersome to get rid of and costly to have hauled away. When we spoke to clients, they weren’t just concerned about their own ease of operations. They wanted to minimize environmental impact too. The beverage industry isn’t exactly a beacon of sustainability – on average, only 20% of glass actually gets recycled.

There’s Inefficiency.

All of those bottles to carry. All of that ice to replenish. All of the tables, the refrigerators, the searching, the opening, the measuring, the pouring, the counting. And the big problem with our clients: how could they manage purchasing without tracking everything by hand then trying to compensate for discrepancies? Most venues were tight on storage space and even tighter on resources.

WE DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

After hearing the stories and crunching some numbers, we thought, “There has to be a better way.” But there wasn’t…until we made one. The food and beverage industry was sorely lacking technology and we didn’t want our clients to cobble together a solution from multiple products and services.

Our IoT beverage dispensing device integrates with any ordinary keg systems to equip it with programmed portion control, in-line chilling, sophisticated analytics, remote management, and more. It’s unobtrusive, easy to install, and takes care of every problem with one punch. Loss prevented before it happens, operations eased, service elevated with near hands-free pouring, and carbon footprint sliced – our clients were thrilled. They were calling us a win-win-win.

BUT, WHAT’S NEXT? BUILD AWARENESS, EDUCATE AND INNOVATE.

We know more people and places are having the same troubles. But, in an industry relatively slow to innovate, it can be hard to pull people away from their “good enough” solutions. Overpouring? A squat cup or pour counting is “good enough”. Trying to keep up with inventory? Using data from hand checking and POS comparison is “good enough”. Aside from that, some of our newer clients weren’t even aware of the extent of their issues until a discussion with us.

We don’t think “good enough” is good enough. Our new goal is to spread the word about beverage industry problems, ways to improve and the technology available to help. By educating, improving and continually innovating for the industry – through this blog, through our website, and through our solutions – we can all win.