English backpackers are about to find that working in an Aussie pub is not quite the easy ride ticket to free drinks it used to be.
The Barilliant is an integrated liquor management system. What does that mean? It means that computers moniter every single drop of alcohol you pour and order. The idea is that when you order a drink, the bartender swipes a wristband, enters the order, receives payment then pours the ordered drink, with beer and spirits measured to the millilitre. The idea is to prevent wastage and theft.
On top of that, the Barilliant also monitors every facet of the beer, from keg contents to gas pressure, so that publicans can be more efficient in making sure every beer is the perfect temperature with the best possible head.
The final component of the system is Pulse TV, a screen that acts as a point of sale marketing tool, displaying promotions, advertising, or negative publicity about the pub across the road.
The whole concept can be easily installed without impeding business, and can be fit into either new bars or old pubs without a hassle.
I don't know about you guys though – as much as this is a great thing for bar owners, I don't think I'd want to work in a bar where every single drink I pour is monitored. I mean, what about staff drinks? And would you drink at a bar where you're never going to get a secret double shot for the price of a single because you've been flirting with the girl behind the bar? No, I think I'd pick a different local if it came to that.
Barilliant helps Publicans Plug the Profit Drain
Barilliant is a management control system that is helping publicans stay on top of their worst enemies – shrinkage and unaccounted retail sales. Its unique integrated system allows for total control and accountability behind the bar, and can be easily retro-fitted into existing venues.
Incorporating Barilliant Beer Control and Barilliant Spirit Control, the system controls and monitors the flow of all beer and spirits served in a venue, with no limit to the number of beer and spirit dispense points can be controlled. While other products exist that measure and dispense liquor, Barilliant has the unique ability to control whether or not a drink can be dispensed.
Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, bartenders swipe and declare a drink on a touch-screen before it can be dispensed. Barilliant controls, monitors and records the flow of liquid, as well as which bartender ordered and dispensed the drink. Nothing can be dispensed unless it is first declared, and once dispensed sales information is immediately relayed to the resident point-of-sale system. This completes the all-important link between liquor dispensed, inventory control and point-of-sale revenue.
Publicans now have the ability to analyse nearly every aspect of their operations in minute detail. By monitoring the flow of every drop of liquor poured in a venue, Barilliant allows publicans to analyse venue trading patterns by time, brand, product, station, tap and bartender – in real time. Reports can be accessed from the venue or remotely via the internet. In addition to monitoring inventory usage, the technology also identifies beer quality issues by monitoring beer temperature and gas pressure all the way from the keg to the tap. Until now, information such as productivity and pour skills of individual bartenders has not been available. Publicans can now use Barilliant to investigate bartender productivity and efficiency – overpouring need no longer go unnoticed!
Barilliant was first launched in Sydney’s Boundary Hotel in 2007, and has since been installed in a number of popular venues throughout New South Wales and South Australia. Queens Arms Hotel managing director Ben Schwartz says installing Barilliant identified quality issues with the pub’s beer lines, “and after an hour of insulation work, the beer quality problems had been significantly reduced. We also found out which individual staff members can and can’t pour a good beer, significantly reducing wastage!”
The Barilliant Beer Control and Barilliant Spirit Control systems are accompanied by PulseTV screens, which are displayed at the front of the bar facing patrons. PulseTV features a mix of visual content, advertising and internal promotional information to a captive audience – patrons milling in front of the bar.
While the product already offers significant functionality and benefits to any pub or club venue, ongoing research and development will ensure continued enhancement of the functionality offered. Barilliant has existed in commercial environments for the period of 1 year, but the Australian owned company is really only now launching the product onto the market. This time has allowed the technology to be stringently tested in live commercial environments. The Barilliant system is the first of its kind in the world, and a proudly Australian innovation.
A word on shrinkage
Shrinkage is every publican’s worst nightmare – and can be as high as 13% of all keg beer and spirits purchased in certain venues. Whether through over-pouring or spillage, where the loss to the venue is the cost price, or rounds poured “on the house”, genuine bartender error or theft, where the loss to the venue is the retail price, shrinkage can mean the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue, even in successful establishments.
In total, Australians consumed $5.2 billion worth of liquor and other beverages in pubs and clubs in the year to 30 June 2005, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. This puts the hospitality industry’s annual national shrinkage problem as high as $234 million in cost prices alone.
Taking control of shrinkage is the secret to effective venue management. The recent trend towards corporate-owned venues has stepped up the need for precise management of liquor inventory using real time monitoring. Investors require certainty that retail margins are not being eroded through careless inventory management.