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Pale Eddie's Pour House Deploys Restaurant Sharing Tech

For nearly a decade, Pale Eddie’s Pour House has been a popular spot in Birmingham, Ala., for those wanting a drink while listening to music, taking in a game on TV, competing in trivia or hanging out with friends. While the bar offers an array of drinks, it doesn't offer food.

That’s because Pale Eddie’s doesn’t have a kitchen. It was, for unknown reasons, constructed without one. And the cost to add a kitchen now – a tab that would total roughly $200,000 – would take too big a bite from the bar’s profits.

Pat Sanford, co-owner of Pale Eddie's, said he figured the best way to add food to the venue and boos revenue without investing significantly in construction would be to somehow bring Rogue Tavern – a restaurant Sanford co-owns and that sits across the parking lot from Pale Eddie's – into the mix. But he didn’t want to inconvenience hungry customers by asking them to leave Pale Eddie’s to get their food from Rogue Tavern.

So he and his business partners brought Rogue Tavern to them via tabletop kiosks from technology firm Juke Slot.

“We heard about this technology and thought, ‘Why not try it here?’ We thought this would be the best alternative” to a new kitchen, Sanford said. “It’s much cheaper to do it this way.”

Juke Slot developed and manufacturers a device that is a multifaceted kiosk. Measuring 9 inches by 9 inches, the kiosk weighs 2 pounds and features a 7-inch high-resolution touch screen display. The Android-based software is customizable, meaning those users across varied businesses can tailor the interface to their needs. A restaurant not only can display its menu on the screen, but also can allow customers to configure meals to their liking.
The solution is built with versatility in mind. The units allow diners sitting at tables to place their orders through the device, which connects wirelessly to the restaurant’s main point-of-sale system and kitchen displays, sending their request directly to the cooks.

Customers taking charge of the ordering process also minimizes errors, as they clearly see what they’re requesting. The device is built to function as a portable point-of-sale system, allowing customers use the machine from the start of their visit to the finish. Customers can make secure electronic payments – by swiping their card, keying in their card’s numbers and even scanning their smart phone – and receive a printed receipt.

Units can be designed to include ever-popular game play, enabling customers to occupy their wait times competing – for a nominal fee – against the computer or other in-house players. The setup then becomes an additional revenue stream for the business.

Six kiosks are positioned along the bar and setting atop tables of Pale Eddie’s. Whenever someone at Pale Eddie’s desires food, they grab a kiosk and peruse the Rogue Tavern menu. After they make their selection, they pay for their food by swiping their debit card or credit card through the kiosk. Once complete, the request feeds into an order screen in the kitchen at Pale Eddie’s. Restaurant employees then carry the grub across the parking lot to those waiting at the tavern.

In just the few weeks or so that the kiosks have been in use, the units already are a hit, Sanford said. Food orders have spiked at Rogue Tavern, thanks to Pale Eddies’ customers. And generating interest in the technology hasn’t required any promotion. The clientele see the kiosks and know what to do with them.

“When they get hungry, they place an order,” Sanford said.

The setup between Pale Eddie’s is believed to be a first-of-its-kind situation in Birmingham. And as collaborative trends like ride-sharing grow in popularity, so, too, might restaurant-sharing.

Sanford said it’s too early to tell whether additional kiosks will be added to Pale Eddie’s or expanded to Rogue Tavern. For the meantime, he considers the technology an opportunity to increase revenue and diversify the operation. When customers aren’t ordering food on the kiosks, they are playing games – free and pay-to-play versions – on the electronic devices.
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