Ramblings of this guy you know!

Tech Stuff and random observations on life as I see it….

Best use of RFID ever? – Wall of Beer?

In Gorgia, in a Latino restaurant, there exists a wall of beer, a pour-your-own system that allows patrons to help themselves to a controlled amount of beer via a RFID customer cards. A mix of image readers, framed Apple iPods and a measured control system for dispensing make up the system. Staff are on hand to monitor the wall to ensure that no illegal or over consumption of alcohol occurs.

When a customer enters the bar they pick up a RFID card from staff which is tied back to the patrons credit card. This card is then allocated a maximum amount of beer to be poured. Approaching the Beer wall, the card is held up to the iPod and the reader behind it captures the card id and forwards the details to the backend server. As long as the cards limit hasn’t been reached then a beer can be chosen and the amount required; An exact amount of beer is then dispensed into a glass. The customer can find a restaurant worker and request that his or her card be replenished to allow more beer to be poured, as long as the employee determines that the individual is not excessively inebriated. At the end of the night the customer then hands over the RFID card to the barman and pay the amount owed.

The system has been in place since March 2010 and restaurant has reported several benefits from using the system including a greater control over beer consumed and amounts charged, less beer wastage and an increased amount of revenues from using the system. For patrons, there is better choice of beers allowing a small sampling of new beers or if they are a slow drinker the choice of amount dispensed… All in all, a win-win situation.

Other bars worldwide are considering the same setup.

This is referenced from an article in the RFID Journal. Click here to read the entire article.

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