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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. 

4 Game Changing Ways Mobile Bars Are Increasing Sales

Restaurants, hotels, and stadiums all have varying capacity limits as well as reasons for drawing in guests; but there is one thing that rings true for every venue within the hospitality industry. Beverage sales provide one of the largest returns on investment and mobile bars can help you increase that ROI. Because Mobile bars are self-serve, your venue can implement additional points of service and, therefore, incur additional revenue without paying for additional staff. Mobile bars serves the same beer, wine, cocktails, and more as your stationary Smart Dispensers, in a compact package. From dispersing your guests to providing additional points of service, mobile bars reduce wait times and provide consistent pours, resulting in an improved guest experience.

1. Spread Guests Throughout Your Venue

If there is a single exhibit or area of your venue that typically receives more foot traffic, stationing bars throughout different areas of your venue can draw and disperse crowds. Similarly, if your venue features a permanent bar and overworked bartender, mobile bars can alleviate staff and eliminate customer wait times. Determine where you want guests to gather, whether that’s near a specific exhibit or simply away from a more crowded corner.

Keep in mind that guests can only approach mobile bars that they know about. Use signage or inform staff to direct patrons toward the distributed points of service. You can also disperse crowds by offering different beverages types at each mobile bar. Try boosting an event’s customer experience by curating the drink options throughout the venue. For example, feature beer at one mobile bar, dispense wine at another, and cocktails at a third, or, a complete tour of specialty drinks.

2. Move Service Between Indoors and Out

Whether you’re a conservatory with indoor and outdoor exhibits, a restaurant that offers outdoor service when weather permits, or a multipurpose venue, mobile bars are a great way to draw guests outdoors and alleviate the indoor points of service. When your outdoor exhibits or service is closed, simply move your mobile bars indoors. Setup and relocating a mobile bar is more manageable than the setup and teardown of a full bar, making it easy to adjust your venue’s layout for different occasions.

Whenever you relocate a mobile bar, you are able to map its location so that your data reflects the pours in each area. Learning from your pour data may influence where you station your mobile bars during various circumstances.

3. Monetize Your Lobby

Even if your hotel features a restaurant or bar, mobile bars allow you to monetize your lobby. At check-in, offer guests the opportunity to purchase a specified number of glasses or ounces. The purchase will prompt an email to send to your guest with their beverage allotment, a link, and instructions for redemption. Then, when guests are ready to redeem, they approach the pour station, click the link, and dispense. While there are multiple ways to offer self service, email delivery allows you to control who can pour, which offers insight into your service with each pour mapped to a specific guest or member.

4. Add Points of Service During Holidays and Events

Hotels and restaurants alike are affected by seasonality and typically experience higher guest counts around the holidays. In addition, wedding and other event venues host multiple parties of varying sizes and must be able to adjust accordingly. Mobile bars offer additional points of service when needed and can be stored when not.

Your mobile bars’ data is collected in the same manner and displayed on the same dashboard as your permanent bars. Use your pour data to measure the effects of seasonality and plan for next year. Discover the popularity of each beverage and stock accordingly. Your data can also influence staffing and when to reintroduce your mobile bars.

When using mobile bars for events, wedding planners and bar managers will be grateful for the indisputable numbers they can deliver with the bill after the wedding, office party, or Bat Mitzvah has ended. Data doesn’t only mean dollars. Use Smart Dispensing to pour the bride and groom’s signature drinks. At the end of the night, share who had the winning cocktail. Mobile bars add additional points of service and an element of fun to your venue.

Not only do mobile bars provide multiple advantages, they can be implemented in several ways to benefit your restaurant, museum, or event venue. Your data is collected across your Smart Dispensing systems, offering a full picture of your beverage program’s delivery and success. In addition, your alerts and Sestra service work the same across all of your Smart Dispensing stations. Questions about your existing Smart Dispensing systems or wondering how your venue can take advantage of mobile bars? Contact us today.

Ghosts to Gobbling- Transitioning from Halloween to Thanksgiving

Transitioning your venue from Halloween to Thanksgiving keeps the fun going, the seasonal menu orders high, and your customers coming back again and again. But don’t worry, change doesn’t have to be 👻 scary  👻  and Thanksgiving promotions don’t have to be a big lift. This season is the ideal situation for you to work smart, not hard. From renaming your menu items and repurposing decorations to pivoting your promotions, your venue can easily and seamlessly transition from celebrating Halloween to implementing some Thanksgiving fun.

Beverages

If your venue offered spooky themed beverages, now is the time to check your inventory and determine how you will repurpose your specials. Sestra’s Smart Dispensing platform seamlessly tracks your inventory for you and your Remote Station Manager app provides live notifications that alert your team when beverages are running low and kegs need to be replaced. 

Consult your customer portal to see how much beer, wine, cocktails, etc you have left, down to the ounce, to help you determine the effort you’ll want to put behind selling out. For example, if you have half a keg or less of a Halloween themed cocktail, you may decide to run a special, counting down your servings. If you have significant inventory that affects your bottom line, turn your Halloween specials into Thanksgiving specials. Spooky cocktails can be renamed and served in different glassware while beer and wine can be served as fall favorites rather than ghoulish glasses.

Not only do guests appreciate new, holiday themed experiences, seasonal menu items see 26% more orders than regular menu items. Increase your customers and their orders with Thanksgiving themed beverages and specials.

Decor

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to pack up the ghosts and goblins until next year. Anything too spooky or obviously Halloween related should be removed, but transitioning from Halloween to Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to completely redecorate. Fall decor like pumpkins, changing leaves, and cornucopias can continue to provide Instagrammable opportunities to your guests.

If your venue hasn’t already hopped on the chalkboard trend, it may be a good time to consider the investment. Chalkboards have become super popular among restaurants, breweries, and wineries, and are the perfect sustainable decoration that can be updated for each holiday. Even if your business invests in a chalk artist to spruce up your board, you may find that the benefits outweigh the cost. A chalk artist’s time and skills don’t require storage, you’re supporting a local artisan, and you’re bringing another Instagrammable feature to your venue. 

 

Promotions

Your venue’s promotional opportunities are as vast as your creativity. From upselling to hosting seasonal happy hours to being a donation hub, your venue can offer customer incentives that will help your seasonal beverages sell out.

Upselling your beverages can be as simple as offering multiple pour sizes to your guests. While “small”, “medium”, and “large” does the trick, you can also think outside of the box and offer sizes named after your venue or the season. For example, “thankful”, “grateful”, and “beholden” could be your size names through the end of November.

Hosting happy hour is another way to promote your seasonal beverages and reward your loyal locals. Rename the event “Thankfulness Hour” and offer beverage specials as a way to thank your customers throughout the Thanksgiving season. Your Smart Dispensing system keeps an eye on your inventory for you, helping you determine which beverage is best to promote each day or week.

Not only is it the season of thankfulness, it’s the season to give back. Collaborate with a local non profit or food bank and offer your venue as a donation site. Whether your community is in need of non-perishable food items, is running a coat drive, or is collecting Toys for Tots, your restaurant, hotel lobby, or auditorium can serve as a collection site. Once donors show up to drop off, make sure your seasonal beverage specials are front and center. 

Data

Not only does your sales analytics illustrate the ROI of your menu items, it helps you make real time, data-backed decisions that can make your venue more profitable. Sestra’s Smart Dispensing platform keeps your data centralized and organized, allowing you to compare your success month over month, holiday over holiday, and year over year. In addition, Sestra customers use their data to determine best sellers as well as what they should remove from the menu. Need help rotating inventory more effectively or predict ordering needs? Contact your customer care representative. 

A season of change is among us and the hospitality industry has proven its ability to pivot and prevail. Transitioning your venue from Halloween to Thanksgiving can include simple changes to your beverage line up, decorations, and promotions that help you stay on trend and welcome excited guests. If your venue is offering Thanksgiving beverages and promotions, we want to hear about it! Tag Sestra Systems in your Thanksgiving promo posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram and don’t forget to encourage your guests to tag you in their posts!

 

Virgin Voyages and Sestra Systems Hit the High Seas with Innovative Beverage Program

Strategic Partnership Delivers Technology and Sustainability on the Scarlet Lady 

Virgin Voyages, the lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations, has implemented Sestra’s Smart Dispensing technology onboard their inaugural luxury cruise ship, Scarlet Lady. Sestra’s unique IoT-connected dispensing solutions and sophisticated analytics platform are essential on-board systems and a key component of Virgin Voyages’ innovative beverage program and sustainability initiatives. Working together, Virgin Voyages and Sestra Systems are driving their shared vision of creating positive change for people and the planet.

Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, was designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury, offering the intimate, elevated experience of a boutique hotel at sea. Featuring spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary interiors, Scarlet Lady is Adult-by-Design and a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler. A dose of Vitamin Sea is naturally intertwined across the entire ship, with well-being, relaxation, and rejuvenation at the forefront.  

In addition to their commitment to luxury, Virgin Voyages is committed to integrating sustainability into every part of the Sailor experience. Scarlet Lady has been outfitted with the latest state-of-the-art equipment and innovative food concepts, serving sustainable seafood and direct trade coffee. They use techniques and technologies in addition to Sestra’s solutions to source responsibly and reduce waste. Not only is Virgin Voyages the first carbon neutral cruise line in regards to its direct emissions footprint, Virgin has banned single-use plastic. Sestra’s TapWise draft solution supports sustainability through its use of recyclable and reusable materials. In addition, Sestra’s solution offers controlled beverage dispensing that significantly reduces waste while preserving the water that feeds our seas.

Shaking up how drinks are served, the Crew on-board Scarlet Lady uses data directly from Sestra’s platform to make real-time decisions. In addition, monitoring and alerts streamline operations within the innovative beverage program so the Crew can worry less about the bar and focus on giving Sailors the voyage of a lifetime. Sailors can even pour themselves a drink, thanks to smart wearables that track their pours and unlock beverage stations. Sestra’s solution keeps beverage taps cloud connected, even when out at sea, delivering uninterrupted, actionable data to Virgin Voyages’ Crew. 

Charles Steadman, Senior Manager of Virgin Voyages’ Beverage and Bar Development and Operations said, “Sestra’s innovative dispensing solution is unlike anything else in the industry. Working with their team and their solution helps us deliver on our promises of sustainability and Sailor experience in a smart way. And, we use Sestra’s analytics and insights to pinpoint inventory needs of every bar, and drive faster turnarounds. They are a true partner in every sense of the word, we couldn’t be more excited to work with them.”

“When two companies that are re-imagining their respective industries come together, the process is fun, and the outcome is sure to turn heads. This is not your average cruise, and we’re proud to sail with Scarlett Lady and her sisters.” said Lev Volftsun, CEO of Sestra Systems.

Sestra’s mission is to bring the internet of things to beverage dispensing, making customers smarter and enriching the guest experience. Our belief in possibility turns the spotlight on innovations and solving our customer’s problems. Our cloud-connected solutions enable customers to maximize profit by providing state-of-the-art features optimized to prevent loss, improve service speed and quality, and ease operations, while providing global business management, control, and analytics tools. Whether you serve your customers on land or sea, contact us to learn how Sestra can implement Smart Dispensing at your venue. 

How to Make the Workplace Feel Like Home

The way we work is changing. Offices that were once filled with cubicles and bustling employees sat empty for close to a year and a half. Staff who could, worked from home while businesses adapted and contemplated next steps. Looking to the future, 65% of employers plan to adopt a hybrid office schedule, but almost 20% of employers don’t have clear plans. What is clear, however, is the importance of relationships for retaining top talent and bolstering team morale. As more workplaces turn to hybrid schedules, where will those relationships form? Our team sat down with industry experts to discuss the future of work, from hybrid location models and physical office footprints to company culture and the role that food plays throughout it all. To learn more and to listen to our panelists firsthand, watch the How to Make the Workplace Feel Like Home Webinar

The Future of Work

Is Hybrid Here to Stay? 

Days Employers Anticipate Employees will Work From Home

Hybrid work, a combination of working from home as well as in the office, is here to stay for the foreseeable future. According to Harvard Business Review, 64.5% of employers anticipate their staff will work from home in some capacity. While health and safety measures accelerated the work-from-home trend, it continues out of convenience, and for some, necessity, with the reasons for pursuing remote work as diverse as the staff members themselves. 

Employee Expectations

“As an employer, you extend benefits to all of your staff. Employees are individualized; each employee will want what’s most important to them based on their life. Your own wants and needs vary depending on your demographic.” -Shannon Kraus, Design Architect, Author and Speaker 

The office and benefits within mean different things to different people. Where one person may prioritize the food and drinks they have access to while in the office, another may prioritize the ability to work from home to be near their children. So how can employers move forward reopening offices while also accommodating these updated needs and expectations? Let’s start by considering how the physical office landscape is changing.

Reopening the Workplace

There is no longer a “one size fits all” office space. Instead, office suites can be customized to accommodate specific needs, often resulting in a smaller footprint more catered to “why” teams come together. While office spaces previously focused on how individuals could best accomplish their own work, the focus is shifting to how teams and people come together. Those who implement a hybrid work strategy use time spent in the office for collaborative work. Getting ready to downsize? 78% of businesses have reduced, or plan to reduce their office footprint. In addition, 25% of hybrid offices have already decreased their office footprint. 

Making the Workplace Feel More Inviting

In addition to the spaces themselves, furnishings are also evolving, from stand up desks and mobile workstations, to built out decks where employees can work in open air. Comfort, choice, and customizations catered to the individual help employees feel valued.

How to Retain Top Talent 

I’ll All About Relationships 

How can you reduce turnover and keep top talent? It’s all about relationships. When employees trust leadership and can count on regular time with their mentor, they are less likely to pursue other opportunities. While salaries and job descriptions are searchable, relationships are harder to shop around. The challenge is prioritizing relationships with hybrid and remote staff. The office is no longer just individuals sitting at desks; it is a hub for relationship building.

In addition to relationships with leadership, relationships between staff have value. People often underestimate the benefits of those serendipitous interactions in the hallway and the positive effects they have on mental health and well being. Burn out, which is a threat to turn over, can be alleviated through relationships and collaboration.

Offering food, business development opportunities, and other social amenities are just some of the ways to get your staff interested in coming back into the office. Still unsure what your staff wants or how to get them excited about returning to the office? “Organizations should not be afraid to ask people what’s important to them,” says Fern Hernberg, HR Expert and Entrepreneur.

The Function of Food in the Workplace

The social nature of food crosses diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We celebrate with a literal breaking of bread as a social contract. While the cubical may be at risk of extinction, common spaces like conference rooms will remain a place to eat, collaborate, and pursue professional development. Food can be used to celebrate, evoke comfort, and allow employees to grow relationships that benefit both them and the business. In addition, beverages such as water, coffee, and kombucha on tap can help leadership build on their relationships with staff and promote loyalty

Marc Payero, Executive Chef at National Football League Headquarters, explains how including meals as part of their in-office perks encourages staff to come to the office, enjoy the space and share time together. “Sometimes people want to get away from their desk and come into the cafe for the food or to connect with each other. We make it so they can find anything they want at any point in the day, making the office a place they want to be.” 

This is a pivotal moment for the future of work. Whether your business adopts a hybrid work model, welcomes staff back full time, or something in between, find creative ways to make the office more inviting, be flexible and be understanding of your employees’ needs. 

Beverage Dispensing in the Hotel Industry

Check-in and check-out processes, hotel cleanliness and maintenance, and a frictionless food and beverage program all contribute to the guest experience. The guest experience, in turn, influences reputation and affects your venue’s bottomline. So how can Sestra help hotel managers ensure a positive guest experience? Sestra’s Smart Dispensing technology and long-term solution partnerships ease operations, increase speed of service, and offer consistency, all while integrating with your guest folio and property management systems. 

Guest Experience

Self Serve

Self service is contactless service that can be set up through mobile bars or No Brick stations. Either option can be arranged throughout your venue to spread out service, eliminate lines, and alleviate staffing needs.

Sestra’s partners have implemented self service of alcoholic beverages as well as coffee and kombucha to appeal to multiple visitor needs. For example, Element Hotels offer complimentary wine on tap at their Relax Hours. Once their guests complete the check-in process, they’re sent an email with a QR code. They then scan the QR code at the self-serve wine station, unlocking the tap and initiating their complimentary pour. 

Bar Service

Sestra beverage dispensing at hotel bars leaves bartenders free to create memorable experiences that keep guests coming back. Beer and wine may be obvious choices to dispense on tap but cocktails on tap also result in huge time savings. Rather than reaching for ingredients and measuring each individually, cocktails on tap can be dispensed through push-to-pour or touchless dispensers while bar staff engage with guests and ensure their stays are exceeding expectations.

Not only does Sestra beverage dispensing in the hotel industry result in expedited service, it offers consistency of every pour throughout your venue.

Consistent Pours

Precision pouring dispenses down to a fraction of an ounce, per your pre-determined serving sizes. That’s right, sizes. We often recommend that venues feature multiple serving sizes as a way to offer multiple options and price points to guests. Whatever size or beverage your patrons prefer, you can feel confident knowing that they are receiving consistent pours, every time.

“I love the fact that at a push of a button at any bar [within W hotel] you can get the exact same drink to the ounce. To me it doesn’t make a difference if it is wine, beer, kombucha, cold brewed coffee, you get all of the same benefits of having those beverages on tap.”

-Garth Welsh, Director, Food and Beverage W Hotel, Washington, DC

Consistent pours also eliminate waste, whether intentional or not. Beverage dispensing that is push-to-pour or touchless eliminate overpouring and integrate with point of sale systems, keeping staff accountable for charging each pour. Self serve stations can be equipped with Bring Your Own Device technology, ensuring each pour is paid for before being dispensed. 

Ease of Operations

Activity and Inventory

Trend reports and insights regarding beverage dispensing allow venues to make data-backed decisions regarding staffing, inventory, and more. For example, if your trends note a seasonal increase in chardonnay consumption, so much that it outperforms all pours throughout the rest of the year, you can, in turn, make decisions to increase staff as well as inventory of chardonnay. Decrease supply of low performers to eliminate waste and storage needs while focusing on more popular pours.

Do your trends illustrate a drop in service between certain hours? Adjust your hours accordingly or offer self-serve stations to reduce staffing needs.

Alerts

Hotel cleanliness and maintenance has always been a top priority for hotel management and a top determinant of a hotel’s reputation. This has only become more true since the onset of Covid-19 and the increased awareness of germs. Your Sestra Smart Dispensers are one less thing to worry about, however, thanks to automated alerts. Alerts can be set up to notify the appropriate staff of which stations need attention and when based on volumes, temperature, cleaning schedules, and more. In addition, Dispensing as a Service means you have access to ongoing support, training, maintenance, and upgrades.

 

While every hotel offers a unique experience to their guests, Smart Dispensing offers consistency where it matters. Through IoT technology and the benefits of Dispensing as a Service, Sestra can help your hotel improve operations, increase speed of service, and provide the perfect pour every time. Ready to learn more about beverage dispensing in the hotel industry? Contact us today

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.