Labor rates keep rising, as well as all of the associated costs. The restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard by wage, mandatory paid leave and health insurance increases. The Labor Department is auditing to crack down on employees that are “under the table,” and failure to comply with laws regarding tip credits, employee breaks, employee meals and split shift pay. Homeland Security is investigating the food industry for undocumented workers. Eliminating or minimizing at least part of your workforce will yield bottom line savings.

With all of this, eliminating one or two employees seems like a good move. Self-pour technology offers the ability to replace servers with machines. A one-time investment yields long-term savings. Reports show that these self-pour machines are reliable, easy to use and are well-received by consumers. They also offer the advantage of eliminating product waste, overpouring and “free giveaways” by staff. This translates to higher profit margins and higher ROI.

Systems come in many styles and price ranges. They can be minimal with one or two taps or diverse with dozens of product offerings. Self-pour systems can be located along a wall or even at individual tables. Providers include iPourIt, Pour My Beer, Table Tap, and Drink Command.

I encourage you to check these technologies out at the next trade show or online.   They seem like a good potential solution to one of the industry’s biggest problems in controlling costs.