Self-Pour Strategy: Choosing the Right Screen Configuration

If you’ve chosen to implement self-pour technology, you’ll need to make some important decisions about the design and set-up of the tap wall system early on in the process.

One of those is choosing the best tap-to-screen configuration for your concept. Getting this right will ensure the highest profits and the most enjoyable customer experience. 

Here’s a quick overview to help explain the options and how the different styles can impact operator and guest experience.

There are two general alternatives to choose from:

One tap per screen or “one-to-one” – a dedicated screen for each of the taps on the wall (1:1)

Multiple taps per screen or “multi-to-one” – screens that control more than one tap (2:1, 3:1, etc.)

We’ve helped to design and build over 400 self-serve tap wall systems and we use that experience to help advise our operator partners on important decisions.

To determine which screen configuration will work best for your concept, you’ll need to consider:

  • Application/concept type
  • Available space
  • Budget

One tap per screen

This is hands down, the best, most effective choice for tap walls in a large taproom or tasting application. Here’s why:

The WOW factor

It’s simple—the more screens, the more impressive the tap wall experience will be. Patrons get excited when they can see the volume of options they have to choose from at first glance. When it’s visible to foot traffic outside, the bank of glowing screens has the power to lure in people passing by.

Quick access

One of the biggest benefits of self-pour technology is that it eliminates the wait for a drink. In fact, isn’t quick access one of the reasons that you’ve considered self-pour? With multiple taps per screen, taps can get blocked from use when the screen is being used to control the neighboring tap. In a high-volume concept, this creates an extra obstacle for patrons to get in quickly and pour a drink. If you expect high traffic at the tap wall, especially on weekends, a one-to-one configuration will serve more patrons quickly and help prevent lines.

Incremental revenue

One-to-one tap wall systems sell more product. A big benefit of self-pour technology is that it increases service capacity by allowing multiple customers to pour at the same time. That means check size and same-store sales volumes are higher. If multiple taps are tied up because a screen is already in use, that additional service capacity is lost.

Easy browsing

Make it easy for guests to see what’s on tap and browse the details for each and every product. Patrons are typically walking up and down the tap wall to learn about their options before they dive in. With one-to-one, they can quickly scan the wall, take in all of the choices, and stop at any tap to get more information.

A simpler experience

The goal is to make the self-pour experience simple and enjoyable for patrons, and stress-free and hands-off for operators. One-to-one is the most user-friendly setup. It eliminates confusion for patrons and reduces potential issues that need to be resolved by staff members.

Big impact, minimal cost difference

If you’re investing in a larger system as the primary revenue generator for your business, the difference in cost for a one-to-one configuration versus multiple taps per screen cost should be minimal compared to the overall cost of the self-pour system—including the walk-in cooler, beer dispense equipment, and self-pour technology. To achieve the highest impact and profits, resist the urge to try and cut costs in this area.

Multiple taps per screen

There are some situations where multiple taps per screen configurations are optimal, especially for small capacity venues and grab-and-go applications where wall space is limited and the tap wall is not the main attraction.

The usuals

In a smaller ease-of-use application, there will usually be more of a standard selection of mostly well-known national brands (i.e. Michelob Ultra or Coors Light) on the tap wall. Patrons will already be familiar with the products so there’s no need to browse the details for each product.

Less traffic

When the tap wall is an amenity or additive revenue generator for a business, there is generally less traffic at the taps and less volume being poured. In that case, wait time isn’t really an issue.

Limited space

Multiple taps per screen can be helpful if wall space is limited and you want to offer more choice and variety. 

Budget conscious

Reducing the number of screens reduces the overall cost of the system. This can be a good solution for projects with stricter budgets.

Want to learn more about building a tap wall system for your business?
Contact us at 949-270-0556 to speak with a self-pour expert. 

Get the latest iPourIt news

Ready to speak with a self-pour expert?