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.

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.


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.


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. 

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.


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


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 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.


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.


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.