Pouring Beer and the Internet of Things
Up until now, the only global statistics available on the consumption of beer have come from sales figures, and these are understandably limited and delayed. Why hasn’t some kind of integrated software system been introduced that would allow fora more comprehensive figure? Well, now there is. Beverage Insights is a Southafrican owned start-up that wants to provide a better picture of the way we serve and consume beer.
A love of tech and a serious appreciation for beer came together when Brett Lindsay,keith Mclintock and Francois Brill saw an opportunity in the market that they knewthey had the expertise to fill. They identified the need for an analytic tool which couldtransmit data in real-time from bars and restaurants across the country.
Their idea stemmed from the creation of something called the Internet of Things,where a series of physical devices connect and exchange data via specially designed software. These physical devices can therefore be used to measure the consumption of tap-dispensed drinks – from when it’s most frequently consumed, to what brand is the most popular.
Often in the hospitality industry, establishments have to deal with a problem called “shrinkage”, which is defined as the unintended wastage or loss of beer in the process of handling, storing and pouring. Addressing this issue was one of Beverage Insights’ main aims when developing their software. “Bars and restaurants all around the world worry about the bartender who goes heavy on the pour and light on ringing in the sale. Shrinkage, caused by wasteful pouring or sometimes even theft, ordinarily sits at about 10 %, at a conservative figure this would start from a bar losing 120 litres of beer per month, this equates to a substantial loss of over R50,000 profit per year.
Beverage Insights conceptualised and built South Africa’s very first “smart tap”, which measures pressure, temperature and flow data of every single draught being poured across SA. All data is then aggregated and displayed in a customized real- time dashboard. This kind of data is invaluable to restaurant/bar owners and breweries across the country as it allows better insight into profitability, demand and inventory management.
Originally, Beverage Insights built all of their own hardware, but that soon proved too expensive. As a result, they’ve switched to a hardware agnostic approach to focus most of their attention on the software and data analytics side of things. With the help of Siatik, Google Cloud partners in SA, the Beverage Insights team had access and help to build into the latest Google Cloud suite of products, making sure it was as advanced as it could be. “Google’s tools are much faster and cheaper than anything we could have built ourselves. We are now in a position, from day one, to scale to all available taps in the South African market,” says Brill of their recent advancements.
Beverage Insights aims to improve the South African market for both the consumer and producer, for bar owners and bar regulars, and make sure that the new age of technology is applied to one of the biggest industries in the country – beer. For more information on the smart beer tap and the system that Beverage Insights has developed, visit their website www.beverageinsights.co.