Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 2015

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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TREND DIY Beer Taps BY THOMAS HENRY STRENK, Contributing Editor T he craft beer movement placed a big emphasis on draft, and that trend has since carried over to tap wine, craft soft drinks and cocktails. The newest iteration is serve-yourself draft taps. There are a number of permutations, from built-in units that require design integration and running draft lines to tables or a station, or drop-in units that can be easily retroftted — just like adding a salad bar. "I have zero stats on this, but anecdotally, I have noticed more self- service taps in my unoffcial attempt to survey all the great beer bars in the country," says Bart Watson, Ph.D., chief economist for the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association. Self-service taps offer a num- ber of advantages for both opera- tors and guests, says Watson. The self-serve taps reduce the need for direct service, resulting in decreased wait times for patrons and decreased costs for operators. And with an array of handles on offer, consum- ers can quickly try out a variety of beers, with operators still making a profit even on small samples. Patrons purchase by the ounce, regardless of serving size. Removing the service element worries some. But operators with DIY taps stress that the human element remains present with staff who are trained to help with suggestions, explain the system and monitor con- sumption to prevent over imbibing. "A self-serve tap may contain some info about the beer, but they aren't substitutes for a highly knowledgeable server/bartender," says Watson. Here's a look at how three opera- tors are tapping into the trend. Public House has 12 tables with two beers and a spirit on tap at each. Photo by Matty Wolin

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