More self-service at bars – a tap at every table

When heading out to their local watering hole for a drink, some customers prefer to serve themselves. We’ve highlighted Amsterdam’s Minibar and the table-top taps of Pilsen’s Unique Bars. Offering a self-service system that can be retrofitted anywhere is the TableTender by TableTap.

The TableTender system, available in Britain and the United States, is designed and built for each specific venue. There’s a tap (or several) located at each table, which allows patrons to pour at their leisure—to a point. The system is designed to comply with drinking regulations, shutting off after dispensing around 11 pints of beer and only resuming once a waiter has checked the table. The amount dispensed is displayed on a meter at the table, as well as recorded on the proprietor’s database to monitor sales and consumption by hour, day, month and table.

Like installation, pricing is bespoke, but for a ballpark figure: the first bar to install the system paid USD 110,000, excluding a monthly fee for maintenance and software licensing. While the upfront costs may be steep, ease of drinks purchase combined with lower costs for wait staff could make for a profitable addition to bars seeking to stand out from the competition.


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Bicycle repair shops on wheels

With cycling gaining ground as a regular mode of transportation, flat tires and broken chains are on the up, too. Which creates an opportunity for bike-loving entrepreneurs: mobile bike repair shops.

In the Netherlands, for example, we’ve spotted companies like Fix Fiets and Bikemobiel, both of which do house calls in vans or trucks outfitted as mobile workshops. Service is even more mobile (and emission-free) in Cologne and Berlin, where stranded cyclists can call a ‘Radambulanz’—a cycling mechanic with a small trailer containing tools and spare parts for fixing flat tires and performing other common repairs.

While some mobile repair services tack on a small trip charge for coming to a customer’s home or workplace, rates are generally comparable to those charged by brick and mortar bike shops. And although they’ve been popping up in Europe over the past few years, mobile services are far from commonplace. Time to launch a well-branded Geek Squad of bike fixers? (Related: Vending machines for bicycle partsIn the US, the AAA will be offering roadside assistance for cyclists in Oregon and Idaho.)


Spotted by: Martina Meng — Raymond Kollau — Judy McRae

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