At this year’s National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, I was able to experience the restaurant industry on a whole new level. Maneuvering my way from booth to booth, I encountered numerous food and beverage products produced from around the globe as well as booths packed with restaurant equipment and employee clothing options. Some of the most interesting offerings at the show were gluten- and GMO-free products, Coca Cola’s Freestyle machine (which I may or may not have frequented several times!) and a very innovative product – the Smartender.
Invented by William Metropulos at SmartBar USA, Smartender is the “first touch screen bar that is both portable and completely self contained.” The machine has a drawer that can house up to 16 of the restaurant’s most commonly used liquor bottles, a 12-unit mixer bay, an insulated ice bin that holds 15-lbs of ice for up to 24 hours, and a garnish tray for finishing the drink. Smartender’s internal POS can record and print the number and type of drink poured throughout any shift. It also detects when supply levels for liquor, water, and CO2 are running low.
What sets the Smartender apart from other bartender-like machines is that each bottle of liquor is poured through an independent dispenser. This patented technology ensures that there is never cross contamination of liquors and that every drink in the 600+ database is made to perfection.
The completely customizable Smartender is equipped to read and track hotel keys, record restaurant swipe cards, and recognize membership cards. Smartender is perfect for luxury suites in sporting or concert venues, poolside at hotel and resort locations, on the gaming floors of casinos, just to name a few.