Tuesday, September 12

Technology Hitting the Bar Scene

Record revenue from interactive table at student bar

Westminster University benefits from tabletop computers.


Dave Friedlos, Computing 12 Sep 2006

A trial of interactive computers that allow customers to order drinks from their seats has generated record revenue at Westminster University’s student bar Intermission.

Touchscreen computers, similar to those launched at the Ministry of Sound nightclub recently (Computing, 24 August), are embedded into the table and allow customers to order drinks, play games and flirt electronically by sending gifts to other tables.

Student union vice president of communications Rayhan Omar says the system will go live when the new term starts next week.

‘We held a trial event to identify any potential problems, but instead took £5,000 at the bar from a crowd of 500,’ he said.

The computers are differences from those installed at the Ministry of Sound and include the ability to order taxis, communicate with the university radio station to make music requests and receive information about the union’s activities.

The computers could generate additional revenue, Omar says, as people don’t have to queue for drinks and the bar can charge for some games and quizzes.

Customers can also use a debit card to pay for a radio frequency identification (RFID) card that they can wave in front of any tabletop computer to buy extra drinks.

Intermission shares revenue generated by the screens with vendor Escapism, which provided the computers for free, as transactions are processed by separate tills.

Analyst Verdict Research consulting director Neil Saunders says the technology could help streamline service and prove convenient for customers who are often deterred from buying more drinks because of large crowds.

(source)

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