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A.I. Powered Bar-staff. Who’s Next?

In what’s been called the world’s first ‘A.I. Bar’ (developed by British data science product company DataSparQ) ordering a drink at a busy bar has been made easier, faster and fairer by using facial recognition technology to place customers in an “intelligently virtual” queue.

Solving Old Problems

Information and statistics (DataSparQ) show that pub-goers in Britain spend more than two months over a lifetime queuing for drinks and that people pushing in at bar queues is the biggest gripe.  Who to serve next as efficiently as possible without causing an argument, and how to spot underage customers at busy times are challenges faced by many bar workers.  Also, solo drinkers and females can find busy bars intimidating and frustrating.

The new DataSparQ ‘A.I. Bar’ Software-as-a-Service product, which costs landlords from just £199 a month and uses a standard webcam, display screen and Internet connection to link up to A.I facial recognition technology appears to be able to address all of these challenges.

How It Works

The A.I. Bar, which has been tested in London, uses a camera linked to the machine learning technology to spot those persons arriving at the bar.  The system displays a live video of everyone queuing on a screen above the bar and a number, which appears above each customer’s head, representing their place in the queue. The system also protects customer privacy by deleting the data (pictures of faces) within 24 hours.

For bar staff, the ordered numbering of customers, and the fact that customers are clearly aware of their number in the queue reduces the chance of arguments. The system shows the bar staff on an iPad, exactly who to serve next thereby helping bars and pubs to maximise their ordering efficiency. The system also tells bar staff who they should ask for I.D. to verify their age, thus helping the pub/bar to stay on the right side of the law.

More Pints Served

In tests of the system, the before and after data has revealed there was an overall reduction in serving times with equivalent of more than 1,600 pints extra poured over a year compared to the average UK pub.  This could equate to a potential 78million additional pints poured a year if the UK’s 48 thousand pubs adopted the A.I Bar technology.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For UK pubs and any business which have to deal with busy bars (hotels, clubs, live music venues and festivals), this system is an example of how the latest technology can be used in a practical setting to solve a number of age-old problems that have troubled drinkers, owners and staff alike.  If this system was widely adopted, the efficiencies created, the extra beer sales, and the reduction of potentially intimidating situations in pubs could benefit the wider pub and drinks trades, and could go some way to helping at a time when so many pubs are being forced to close.


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