Jeremy Julian

Craft Standard Transcript

January 23, 2022

RTG Craft Standard Transcript

Fri, Nov 25, 2022 . 9:12 AM

40:49

Owner: Jeremy Julian

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

keg, cocktails, bar, beer, drink, batch, craft cocktail, figure, don, building, people, william, draft, liter, product, put, cornelius, bartender, anheuser busch, lines

SPEAKERS

Don (65%), Jeremy (35%), William (<1%) 

DR

Don Ray

0:02

This is the restaurant technology guys podcast, helping you run your restaurant better.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

0:13

Welcome back to the restaurant technology guys podcast. We appreciate you guys spending part of your week with us each and every week when we have one of these recordings, today is a pretty cool episode, that I have a feeling that our audience is going to really resonate with, because we’ve got cofounders of a product company that also our restaurant tours and bar owners and I’m pretty excited for, for Don and William to share a little bit of their story and how they got to where they are, but I’m actually going to pass the mic over to them. Why don’t you get started on and then and then William, you can introduce yourself, but the the cofounders of craft standard, which I’ll let them tell you a little bit more about what that is and kind of how they got into this world. And then we’ll talk a little bit about about why they did what they did. Awesome. Thanks, Jeremy. So I’m Don Ray, co founder of craft standard. We’re a draft cocktail company. The story really starts back about seven years ago, in one of our bars, we’re in Northwest Arkansas, which is it’s an SEC town,

WR

William Ray

1:21

the University of Arkansas here and we own a bar location, that’s a pretty large footprint, it’s probably about 6000 square feet.

DR

Don Ray

1:33

kind of started dabbling in in batch cocktails and trying to come up with a really solid batch cocktail solution which led us to Cornelius kegs, which led us to

DR

Don Ray

1:46

a lot of really cool things that happened and able to achieve some of the goals that we were trying to achieve with that batch cocktail solution. But it also created problems for us that William and I put our heads together to try to come up with solutions to to fix the issues and make our lives easier. So that’s kind of like the the general overarching you know, idea behind this we have been in the restaurant business for 20 years, restaurants, this own barbecue restaurants, multiple bar locations, whether it be dance clubs, or pubs and then we kind of landed on Tiki and like craft cocktail per se bars and yeah, it’s just been a journey of of trial and error and trying to to achieve you know, maximum efficiencies and margins. So that’s what leads us to craft standard.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

2:44

Very cool, very cool. Well William, I know he took a lot of that from you but why don’t you introduce yourself to the audience? Who are you and and what do you get to do with craft standard because I’m watching yes on video but everybody else isn’t going to have that privilege to know that that your brothers and and happen to be twins because we’re only gonna be posting audio when when this goes out to market.

WR

William Ray

3:04

Yeah, I’m William I’m Don’s brother basically.

DR

Don Ray

3:09

And co founder of craft standard. I invented the the way for us to get into the keg. So we’re using a standard we’re using a one use keg that hooks up to a standard Sankei D adaption adapter for draught beer systems. What makes what makes us so unique is that no one has to purchase any new infrastructure to use our product. So you know 99% of places in the country that are using that are draught beer, we’re going to be using the Sankey decoupler that coupler attaches to our keg, what we’re selling is a mix that’s in the keg with space left in the keg that allows you to add your particular mix of spirits into the keg through the spiker device that that was that we invented to to allow us to the customer to have a unique cocktail essentially basically using our mix pot this micron fill it up with up to nine liters of of spirit or you know juice or cordials or whatever it is that suits your fancy, pop it off, shake the keg up, it only has to be shipped one time hooks up to your standard sanctity system and now you’re pouring draft cocktails ultimate speed consistency control that that’s those are really the hallmarks behind you know what this product is is about. Don Yeah,

JJ

Jeremy Julian

4:37

well And sorry to cut you off, but I’m just thinking, you know, we tie talk with them, you know, talk with you guys pre show and it’s like it’s it’s such a unique idea that you guys have because I think as I as I think back about kind of just the cocktail business in general. I’m sure you know kind of you’re scratching your own itch is there’s probably even in your own bars. You

JJ

Jeremy Julian

5:00

could go to the same bartender and have the same drink three nights in a row and have it taste very different is that kind of where, you know, tell me a little bit about the inception where it even came from because you guys are so far down the road. And I love that you guys are excited about the product. And I want to talk more about it. But I’d love to figure out what, like, tell me what problem you guys were trying to solve that is such a, you know, it’s a unique area I love I love where you guys went with it. And I really, really think it’s going to be something that when people hear this from me, like how do I get this tomorrow? But what was the main, you know, itch that you guys were trying to scratch within even your own business? Well, that? It’s that’s a great question. Don actually touched on the size of our properties. So the whole handcrafted

DR

Don Ray

5:44

cocktail revolution, if you will occurred five, six years ago, maybe 10 years ago, even, you know, the craft cocktail revolution, if you will. So we opened a bar called Ben’s apartment, which is this private member’s only speakeasy bar behind the two main bars that sit on the main drag on Dickson Street in Fayetteville. And we were doing the handcrafted cocktails, you know, the specialty cocktails and all that and it went off so well and the customers loved it. And the cocktails are phenomenal, you know, and yada yada yada. We had a dance club sitting out front of this bar of the bar that we’re in right now, which has bends and and we wanted to change the concept because a dance club, they have a lifespan, you know, you’re talking about three or four years, right five, Max. And so what we did is we did a public version of this essentially out front on half of the dance club. So one half still stayed at dance club and the other side turns into this craft cocktail bar. Well, it’s it’s roughly 2000 3000 square feet, 24 2500 square feet, which is pretty large for a handcrafted cocktail bar. The reaction we got from the customer, the consumer was phenomenal. The kids loved it. The the adults loved it, you know, we were brushing with a broad stroke, people were coming in in droves. But the problem that we were running into is that we were trying to make Moscow Mules and old fashions and all of this stuff. And it takes a lot of time to make correctly. That was the problem we were trying to solve. It was keeping Don up at night. I was to be honest with you not even thinking about it because I was thinking about things, but it kept on up at night. And one day he comes to me he goes I think I figured this out. And he was thinking about the Homebrew guys, how are they home brewing their own beer and putting it in kegs and serving in their house? What was the certain keg that they were using to be able to do this in? And could we get those kegs and figure out how to batch cocktails and put them in those kegs ourselves. And once he found the keg and the how we would hook it up to our existing draft system. We put our heads together sort of batching cocktails to try to accomplish this. And we came up with our first batch and it was moscow mule. And when I think how many we do down to the two kegs. Once we landed on the recipe that we liked, we did two kegs in it. And we flew through them. And I mean 45 minutes we flew there wasn’t even enough. So from there, we started to expand that and take we started taking draft beer off the lines, until we took all the lines over in that one room, which was I think eight or 10 tabs and put all these unique draft cocktails, we looked at our P mix on our system, and we were seeing what we were selling the most of them we just started putting replacing them with these with the draft cocktails in the Cornelius kegs. And they sold like crazy, we started doing large format, you know, the customers were not unhappy anymore, we were able to serve as two people three deep that wanted a big drink or, or something not as sophisticated as an old fashion or something like that. And it gave the bartenders the opportunity to really make those handcrafted specialty cocktails, but also give the customer a cocktail that would be considered handcrafted. But it’s not as complicated as some of the other ones through our draft system. Through this process, though, with the big win that we had, we created another problem. We had switched all of our draft lines, even in the dance club over to these draft cocktails. And what we found is we were we were spending entire days, eight hour working shifts building kegs for just the weekend. And in some cases, we couldn’t even make it through the weekend, we would have to spend two entire days building kegs. Oh, wow. To make it through the weekends. And that’s when we started really talking about if this works so well for us. How do we commercialize this? You know, and that’s when that story started to take shape. Yeah, so you ever think, you know Mrs. Don, jumping in I know our voices are really similar, but you know, so we go from A to keg build all the way up to 20 lines. So essentially, we have 10 Different cocktails on two lines each. And now we’ve gone for I’m building 20, kegs, to building 60 to 70, kegs a week. So that’s sourcing sugar, that’s sourcing juice. That’s building syrups. That’s, you know, at the time, you know, we were really hardcore, and we were squeezing juice ourselves with juicers, our whole team, you know, we were we had gone down this path, we’re making syrups in house and fusions, you know, like we had, we were, we were really driven towards this craft cocktail mindset, even in our kegs, the labor piece of that, and the cleaning, and the sourcing, and, you know, just cleaning of tags, or anything, just getting cleaning is very difficult.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

10:41

Yeah, for those that are unfamiliar with what a Cornelius Keg is versus what they might have seen at a fraternity party, the last time they actually had to carry a keg, if they’re not a restaurant operator, or a bartender, I mean, and I’m familiar with it, and I’ve seen them, but for those in our audience, that might be the tech geeks that are like, I just want my beer, I just want my IPA Leave me alone, I want my cracked cocktail, explain what the differences between a Cornelius keg a stereo cake just kind of all of that to give those that may not be familiar with it a little bit of a visual, because I do think it helps understand helps people understand and get get to the place that that they may be able to, to understand why you guys did what you did. Okay,

DR

Don Ray

11:17

Cornelius Keg is a is a, a six barrel that you can actually open. And the way what they were originally used for was back in the day in the 80s, and 90s. And 70s, probably the coke companies and Pepsi companies, they put their syrup in those, and those those cylinders are what ran those coke systems. So your fountain Cokes, and your your guns came off of those. So they have this oval opening that they were able to open and refill and clean, clean and refill. And then the Homebrew guys started using those cylinders to put their homebrew in and modify. So they would work on a draft system. So once I kind of tracked that down, I got our hands on those. And we started using them to batch these cocktails in so we batch the cocktails and a large Lex and pour it into the it’s a five gallon batch per keg, and then we’d hook that up to our draft lines. The issue is, is when you’re done with it, you know, you got sugar and juice and all these things. In this they separate, they have to be shaken regularly. You know, it’s a laborious process and the grand scheme of things, you pull this thing off, and you have to clean these kegs out like really, really well before you build another batch. You know, you don’t want to, there’s all kinds of contamination issues and stuff because you’re opening a product and things like that. So, you know, like William said, we solved one problem. And it was great for our bartenders were able to uplevel our sales, our margins are awesome, you know, XYZ, but we create this huge, laborious situation on the other end, where we’re like paying a bunch of labor. And then the minute that he and I go on vacation, it just goes off the rails because that worked for us. They’re not paying attention to like perfect measurements of alcohol and sugar and different things to build these kegs. So, you know, it just became a headache for us. We were like, man, we created a monster here. And how are we going to get on the other side of this, you know?

JJ

Jeremy Julian

13:15

Well, on the couple things that I that that I took from your story that I think are so amazing. It’s just even the transfer of the beer and the amount of cakes that you guys had in beer and how, how even you guys were able to, you know, I mean, you know, margins are good across the board, but, but it’s just amazing to me, that that you guys were able to transfer even your guests was not only existing equipment, but just that the spend was that the spend in the end that, you know, the consumer was buying those crack craft cocktails, even more so than beer, especially in a town, you know, in a college town where, you know, I would assume that that beer sales are still relatively high and your guys’s establishments as well. You know,

DR

Don Ray

13:53

beer does? Well, you know, we’ve really transitioned people over to spirit and spirit in the grand scheme of things is taking the lead. You know, beer is on the decline national interesting, you know, and spirit is is growing. You know, college kid, they want to get lit

JJ

Jeremy Julian

14:11

fast. Yeah, they don’t want to get drunk as fast as they can. Well,

DR

Don Ray

14:14

they’re gonna get in those and the thing is, is we weren’t building we don’t have keg, our draft cocktails weren’t these like really weird, esoteric drinks? I mean, we’re talking about Moscow Mules and margaritas, you know what I mean? Moscow Mules, hurricanes, like very recognizable drinks that these these people see. So, you know, that builds on a high level though.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

14:34

Yeah, well, that’s the thing clearly the product itself, you’re not going to you know, you’re not going and Don and I know you and I were talking about this the other day, it’s like the you know, I the first thing when I when I heard your guy’s story that I was thinking about was those those freakin frozen margarita machines that are sitting there mixing, you know, and like, that’s the first thing that came to mind. I’m like, well, it’s got to be something more than that, which is why I’m digging into this because I think a lot of people think of pre mixed drinks and they see the darker machines and Margarita machines down at the beach. And they’re like, oh, that’s what I got. And I know that’s not anywhere close to it, which is why I’m why I keep peeling back the onion to make sure that our audience can understand not only the house, but the why, yeah, so the foundation of this is natural juice, cane sugar, filtered water,

DR

Don Ray

15:17

and that is our ingredient base in our case, you know, and, and we stick to that, like, we’re not using acids, and, you know, all kinds of non, you know, non natural type flavor components. So, you know, granted, it’s a large format, it’s a batch. But, you know, you can make this as high end as you want, or you can make it as low as you want, depending on what spirit you put in. And that’s the beautiful thing about this is it’s an open source product, you get to put your fingerprint on it, and you get to create, you know, whatever your flavor is that you’re looking for. So,

JJ

Jeremy Julian

15:52

let me peel it back a little bit from a experience in education perspective, like, it sounds like you almost had to have an engineering degree to figure out how to get all this I mean, you know, and so do either one of you guys have any kind of formal education in either in either batch food service, or, you know, kind of, or was it just a necessity thing, like, it’s just such a cool story to say, I have a problem, and I’m gonna go figure it out. But to me, it almost feels like an engineer should have figured it out. Or somebody at Anheuser Busch, or, you know, somewhere, somewhere up the line. And I love the story, just because it’s so cool to me. And, you know, I know you guys are chuckling a little bit, but it’s just to me, I think about it. I’m like, Dude, this is awesome that these guys figured this out. So tell me, I mean, where’s the is it really just the fact that you guys were running bars and saying, There’s got to be a better way, there’s got to be an easier way?

DR

Don Ray

16:37

Well, I mean, that’s where it starts. I mean, you have to, you have to think that we became super drink nerds, right. So we’re digging into all kinds of different syrup type builds sherbets, all kinds of infusions, you know, we’re using refractive meters to measure our bricks, so that our menus are bricks out a certain way, because we have a belief system that, that there’s a specific range of flavor of sweet and acid that is very, you know, palatable. And you know what I mean? We’re like digging into all you know, the depth and codes of the world and the PTTs and reading all these books. And so we kind of self educated ourselves and into a belief system. And then we just kind of carried that forward. You know, William is a tinkerer by trade, first of all, like, I mean, I love it ours, we built ourselves with our own hands. And, you know, he has a construction and a spatial kind of mind. So he just sees things. And he just screwed around with this stuff, until he figured out a way around it, you know, there was legal hurdles that limited our ability to do cagd cocktails. The other way, like, initially, we were like, we went down the path of oh, we’ll just put vodka in a mule keg, and we’ll ship it all Moultrie. You know what I mean, we’re gonna eat, and we start getting the TTB laws, and like really understanding that we can’t do those things. So if every turn kind of forced us down a path to learn something, you know, William, like, he goes, he we were working on the, on the spiker. And he, he finds this engineer at the university who studies liquid dynamics. And he’s meeting with him and Williams working through all of this stuff with him. And the guy is like, are you an engineer, he’s like, you know more about this than I do. This is insane. You know. So it’s really out of necessity, that we, we learned the different things that we learned, you know, I mean, I built a spreadsheet program in Excel, that you can tell me the recipe of your cocktail that you like the best, and I’ll plug it in there, and it’ll tell me how to put it into a cake. It’s all crazy. You know what I mean. But based on our foundational beliefs, we created a program that kind of finishes that, and then we start working with it, we find a food scientist friend, and we start working with him, and passing on our recipes and things like that. And then he was able to turn them into major batch sizes of the CO packers news. But his response back to us was a lot like what yours is, I mean, he was like, how do you guys, how did you land on these flavor profiles, because when I taste these, they’re delicious. It’s like the best thing I’ve ever had. Like, it’s, it’s insane, you know, and really what it comes down to this, it comes down to us being like Barnards that have worked behind the stick, and just know what good what good tasting things are, and use the feedback from our customers to dial things in, you know, these big, bureaucratic companies and stuff. They just can’t, they just can’t get to the people like we can. Now they’re not agile enough to

JJ

Jeremy Julian

19:33

figure it out.

DR

Don Ray

19:33

We keep it sweet. We keep it very, very simple. And that’s a big key to the reason our things tastes the way they have and all that. And that’s not to say that they were they were perfect out of the gates, right, like, yeah, like there’s been some modifications even as of late just based on some feedback from the consumers and things like that. But we’re small enough still that we can be flexible right and And the mixes are very simple. So, so making a change to them is easily done also.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

20:06

Well, and Don was just saying, William just a second ago that, you know, you guys hired, you know, you guys found a food scientists and you know, I know, at least on the restaurant trade when you talk about it and you guys make food there, so you guys will understand this as is, you know, doing a double size batch of ranch dressing doesn’t just mean you do two acts of everything that’s there. And I think people think I’m going to do a craft cocktail, and it’s going to be, you know, an ounce of this and you know, and a half an ounce of that and all of these things, but when you batch it up, it’s not exactly, you know, a five to one or attend to it. You know, if I’m doing 10x You have to tinker with that stuff. Because if not, it’s not going to taste the same as when you when you shrink it down. Even when I’m making you know, waffles in my own kitchen. When I’m doubling the batch of waffles that’s on the on the package, it doesn’t function the exact same as 2x. What you know, the 1x recipe, it’s

DR

Don Ray

20:57

Yeah, and that goes all the way back to the very beginning, when we start talking about the two kegs that we made in the Moscow meals, we threw away a bunch of batches of we were trying to figure out why can we not get this to be the way we want it. And then we we reversed back and we win. Let’s think about every single step when you make a Moscow Mule. What happens in that drink? And we go through all the steps and then the light bulb came on? There’s one thing that occurs that most people don’t take into account. And I don’t know if I’m allowed to say it or not, but I guess I will because we’re way down the road.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

21:36

delue Try and catch me right, I tried.

DR

Don Ray

21:39

I turned into water, it changed the cover of the drink. Yep, had to be taken into account in your batch. Because what happens is you’ve got it in this batch form. It’s coming out of the tap cold over ice. You don’t have ice mill initially, right? Yeah. So that like

JJ

Jeremy Julian

21:58

you had to you had to you had to mute or increase and increase the certain flavor profiles I love. I love just kind of all of the different ways that you guys have gone about it. I guess you guys have talked about you know, kind of your tinkering your learnings, what’s been your biggest learning, you know, as you guys have gone about these things, because whether it’s the ABC laws and you know, the alcohol kind of way, where it’s putting Tito’s in versus Stoli vodka and is probably gonna make the drink tastes different. And does that cause you know, something? The fresh ingredients and spoilage and, and usage? Like, have you guys had any problems with any of that where the keg, you know, was, you know, figuring out the data, it’s like you guys would in your walk ins like, you know, tell me a little bit about kind of where where you guys have had to pivot in pretty significant ways. Is there one or two things that you guys go? If I hadn’t figured out this, this whole thing could have come crashing down?

DR

Don Ray

22:53

Um, I mean, I think some of the issues that we have every once in a while, I mean, the kegs themselves are not perfect. Yeah, they’re not consistent structural failure sometimes. And if oxygen gets to it, you know, you have spoilage it’s very rare that that happens, you know, or it doesn’t hold pressure. And it doesn’t it won’t pour correctly, or some variant we’ve had some, some kegs that that have those kinds of issues where they’re just broken, essentially, probably not a whole lot different than your bear. If it gets distributed to you guys, I

JJ

Jeremy Julian

23:21

would guess. Yeah,

DR

Don Ray

23:22

I mean, they get if they get dropped or something like that some sort of damage occurs. I’m not sure that there’s been anything that has like, I mean, there’s been some aha moments that we’re in the middle of, of, of shifting to possibly, you know, there is some learnings. As easy as this is, there’s still some difficulties, you know, our size format, for one, we’re in a 30 liter keg, I think we’re gonna we would like to shift to a 19 litre keg, we’d like to the entry for the customer to be a little bit cheaper. You know, the amount of spirit that they have to put in the keg, they have to spend less on the number of bottles they put in it, you know, the kegs size fits better in in standard refrigeration, as opposed to a three, which is the size we want to go to is basically a six barrel, which is entered. The 30 is like this oddball size. But when we started out, it was about price. Right? It costs us almost the same to put the keg itself, the structure of the keg shell costs about $1 difference between a 30 and and Power team. And we were trying to give the consumer a good price, you know, and we didn’t have any money to be honest with you. In the very beginning. We’re bootstrapping like crazy. So we wanted to get into a certain price per ounce. So we had to go with a 30 liter keg to do that. And just the learnings that we’ve we’ve had in this past year with that has is making us rethink some things, you know, to improve the product and you know, help the consumer make it easier. You know, a 30 liter keg weighs more than it SR K, the number of bottles you have to put in and it was a lot more, the combination of things would be a lot more than a 30 liter keg, it’d be a lot less combinations in the smaller kick, you know, just things like that, you know, I think we’re going to simplify, you know, we’ve we came out of the gates making a keg that, that you can adjust the ABV. And you can do all these neat little things too. But it can get complicated. Whereas if we went to a 19, and kind of eliminated some of those bells and whistles, and just kind of, you don’t have to be a bar

JJ

Jeremy Julian

25:27

geek to run it, it sounds like that. You know, which I’m teasing because you guys have called yourself bar geeks. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to democratize it and make it a little bit simpler for for these guys to be able to deploy it knows that we’re finding this going is

DR

Don Ray

25:39

not the Barner accounts, we’re finding it in these really high volume sports venues and music venues and things like that. And, and even the middle range, large venue, you know, on the party streets and all of that. And the more simple we make it the more standardized we make it for them, the easier it’s going to be in, you know, to flow through and for them to sell it and then make build it and hook it up with the the line and all of that

JJ

Jeremy Julian

26:07

it gets. So why don’t we walk through that process then. So now I’ve heard your guys’s story. I’m like, I need Moscow Mules on my tap. I need you know, whatever it is that you guys have got. I’ve got, you know, old fashions I need them. What do I need to do as a bar owner? I’m down on Sixth Street in Austin. And I want to figure out how to make this go. What does that look like for a bar owner bar operator, somebody that’s engaging and saying, You know what, this sounds awesome. Having a guy sit there and take 678 minutes to make a drink. When I’m 3d with the bar is not acceptable anymore. I can drive an extra 3040 50% more volume by doing this. For those standard drinks that you guys talked about. What does that look like? What does the engagement look like? What do they need to do for the equipment in the place? What do they need to do for you know, talk to me a little bit about what what’s the starting place and where do they keep going from there? Okay.

DR

Don Ray

26:56

Well, we’re distributed to the Anheuser Busch network. Pretty much nationwide, every major city around distributing in Austin would be your your wholesaler that you’d contact they carry our product. As far as equipment, there’s not there is no equipment needs. So what you do is you you select which beer line you want to take off, take the beer off, make sure that line is clean. Usually the bowler will do that for you. You order the flavor of keg that you would like we’ve got Margarita which is a margarita sour bass, mule, lemon pink lemonade, Paloma Mojito. They deliver the keg, they deliver what’s called the spiker to you in a tap handle just like beer. Okay, you get a they’ll give you a recipe card on how to make different drinks that go in the keg. They’re trained on on how those things work. And you attach the spiker to the keg and you put the combination of the Spirit that you would like in the keg to create your cocktail. Whether it be a margarita with a margarita keg, or a Long Island with the margarita keg or gin gimlet or whiskey sour, all of the above, it’s a sour so you can create whatever you’d like. You hook it up, you put the nine liters in takes about three minutes max to do that, like the keg up, shake it back and forth for 15 to 20 seconds, make sure it’s mixed really well slide it into the refrigerator and put the Sankey on top and your porn draft cocktails in about three to four minutes.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

28:29

That’s incredible. And no new equipment. No lines needed to get run. No. I mean, this is the part that I’m still and I know you guys are teasing about it earlier about the these other guys that you would engage but I’m like, it seems so simple. Like it just it feels like it should have been done before. And I love that you guys are here to tell the story. But it wasn’t done before.

DR

Don Ray

28:47

Like, we went down this rabbit hole, you know, and we searched and searched and searched to see if somebody had done it because it just when the light bulb went off with him with William when he figured it out. He was just like, how he’s like I don’t understand how no doubt. And and also like we went up to St. Louis because we were vetted by Anheuser Busch, they put us through the paces. So I’m with the with the head of draught beer, his name is Tony Barra. And, you know, he put me through the paces, we spiked kegs, we hooked it up to their system that kept the kegs online for over, you know, a couple of months just testing the product and making sure that it wasn’t staining lines, and it wasn’t separating and the gag and all those types of things. And he gets back to me on the phone. He’s like, man, he’s like, I gotta congratulate you. He goes, this is the biggest step in beverage in 50 years. Yeah, I don’t want to it’s it sounds amazing. You know, they were surprised that they didn’t figure it out.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

29:41

Well, and I’ll tell you guys a quick funny story. And this will probably resonate with you guys. We had a we had a Three Days Festival concert that we had done point of sale technology for probably 1010 12 years ago. And it was one of the first times they’d had this festival. Not going to mention the city because it’ll give away the festival that it was And By day three, they had run out of mix. And so all of these drunk people are showing up to these concerts and they’ve got just these, these 50 Gallon Trash cans, and they’re just pouring bottles of whatever alcohol they had left and mixing it up and, and like just scooping in cups and given the people and, you know, not only unsanitary, but just I mean, I think of that. And I think even quite frankly, I mean, my wife and I were out at an event and she went, and she went to two different bars and got two different new she got the same Paloma, but it tasted so different. And so I think even as a consumer, I think about that, that, you know, part of what helps restaurants, you know, build a brand and build consistency, or why you go back to that same bartenders, you know, he’s gonna take care of you, it feels like you guys are trying, you know, have already figured out a way to solve some portion of this. Is that a fair assessment?

DR

Don Ray

30:49

You know, in this industry right now, it’s a revolving door. First of all, people are struggling to hire bartenders, trained staff COVID really hurt the industry. And the the guys that had been around for a long time left and got into different industries. So you’re dealing with a very rookie base of people who don’t, they’re not I mean, it’s not everywhere, I mean, you have your your places that still have good solid guys. But for the most part, you know, guys and gals, for the most part, you know, there’s a major turnover shift that’s happening, and we’re having to retrain them, and we’re doing it in our places right now. And the thing is, is you can set the ABV on this deal. Like you want the ABV to be 12%, you know, you put nine liters in it, you want it to be eight, you put seven liters in it and two liters of water, you know, and, and then you put that on your menu, this is what the ABV is of the drain, just like beer, and the customer gets that consistency every single time. But you’re making it easy on your bartender too, because your bartender doesn’t have to be super proficient and perfect at making the cocktail every time

JJ

Jeremy Julian

31:50

well. And I can imagine it also helps quite a bit with, you know, with over fours and under pours, and things like that, because now everything’s mixed. And I know you guys, you know, had been running bars for a number of years, the the waste, and or people stealing, you know, alcohol, you know, to give to their friends and whatnot is a big, big part. And then you take take into the fact that everybody’s you know, I’m a I’m a veteran, and I’ve been here for for six weeks, you know, behind the bar kind of thing. You know, I read a book and I went to bartender class and now I’m now I’m the most senior guy behind the bar, you know, those kinds of things happen.

DR

Don Ray

32:21

Yeah, average loss and an open bottle of liquor behind the bar is 25%. That’s national average. Bevan holy smokes is the, you know, the inventory management company, they’ll tell you that that’s the average loss. And it’s because it’s not always bad people, you know what I mean? Because it’s just, you know, these poor spots come from China, and they leak all over the place, you’re in a super sloppy over pouring. Your, you know, I mean, there’s just all kinds of things, you’re hooking up the girl or the guy for the extra tip. There’s a lot of things that happen that play into that and 25% annually. That’s a massive loss. And if you can eliminate that with a draft cocktail program, you put your most highest volume, you know, cocktail on draft, you’re gonna make money. You know, it’s not a it’s not a kitschy thing. This is like your volume mover. You know that when you look at the list of drinks that bartenders hate to make margaritas on the top of that list. Mojito is on the top of that list. You know, palomas, Rock

JJ

Jeremy Julian

33:16

Island, where, yeah, Bloom, I could, I can imagine, yep, they just get tired

DR

Don Ray

33:19

of doing the same thing over and over. But those are the most ordered cocktails in these bars. So you might as well put, put that on there and save the bartenders headache. You’re also gonna make the bartender more money takes three seconds to fill the glass with ice, and a draft cocktail. That’s extra drinks sold. And it’s more time for him to spend him or her to spend on those super cool drinks that they’d like to make.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

33:42

Yeah, very cool. Well, what have we not brought up that you guys think that our audience needs to hear? You know, of kind of where you guys think this is going? And I’ll precede that question a little bit. Do you guys think we’re ever going to get to that place where people are self porn, you know, you know, standard cocktails, you know, these these craft cocktails. My wife was just telling me she went out with her girlfriends the other night to a birthday party and they went to this new, new, you know, whiskey and wine bar down the road, and everybody got their little pay card and got to go pour their own glasses of wine, one ounce, three ounce, five ounces. You know, is that coming to this world? You know, where?

DR

Don Ray

34:18

It’s already that you’re already there? Here. So do you say you live in Austin?

JJ

Jeremy Julian

34:24

I don’t live in Austin. I live in Dallas, but, but I’ve been down to Austin quite a bit. There’s Yeah.

DR

Don Ray

34:28

You know, Dave and Busters is experimenting with it in a couple of their locations with their peers, their poor walls. I’ve got some places in Minneapolis. There’s a company called I pour it who does poor wall technology and stuff like that. They’ve got it. They’ve been on the podcast before. Yeah, they were on the podcast a couple of years ago when they first came out. We’re working with poor my beer in Resorts World in Las Vegas has got six of our cocktails on draft. They’re very cool to sell for system. So yeah, I mean, it exists. It’s happening. We’re legislation and allows that, you know, I mean, it’s going to take off, you know, and that’s gonna save labor and all those types of things for those bars, which is hard enough to get anyway, a lot of these may come in, they’re gonna start moving towards those IP or systems because it’s in, they’ve come up with a way to do it frictionless. So, you know, because Because of such the limitations on staffing that that we’re running into in this industry, you know, it makes sense for these large venues like that, to have those poor walls and all where the customer just walks up and does their thing and imports drink and goes, you know, we’re seeing them the movement in that direction. They’re also with us and and also beer probably combined on those walls.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

35:41

Yeah, yeah, no, and the wine thing it was, it was quite funny, because my wife had come home from this birthday party. The other night, I had the coolest thing, you gotta go check it out. And I just kind of laughed, I said, Yeah, I know, the guy that founded that company was on the podcast couple years ago. And she’s just like, Ah, you’re such a jerk, I thought I was bringing you something so cool. But I think that’s, I mean, I think that’s the way that that the world is going. And while it’s not great for people that are in the restaurant industry, we’ve got to solve it. And I think the only way to solve it is to get creative, like you guys have so. So, if they want to engage if if people want to engage and learn more, you know, you said it earlier, but I want to, you know, reiterate it is that your only method of distribution, he has gone through the distributors that you know, that are distributing Anheuser Busch, if they’re, if if Anheuser Busch is not on their line card, can they get it anywhere else? Or do they have to kind of open up account there? A little bit.

DR

Don Ray

36:28

We will ship direct, they can go to your.com. And, and go through the process there and we’ll ship direct to them if we’re not distributed in there.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

36:37

And their their community where, yeah,

DR

Don Ray

36:39

but if we are if we have a contract with a wholesaler that’s in their region, they’ll have to go through Anheuser Busch to get it. Okay, that makes

JJ

Jeremy Julian

36:46

sense. That makes sense. Is there anything else that we missed guys, that you guys want to make sure, you know, that people hear about not only the story, but how to engage with you guys? You know, what’s the next cocktail? I guess, that you guys are gonna come up with on your own? Is there anything new that you guys got Brune? I’ve been? I’ve been working on the

DR

Don Ray

37:01

old fashion.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

37:03

Yeah, very cool.

DR

Don Ray

37:05

In the old fashion is such an interesting cocktail. Because it’s very, it’s regional, like, like, yes, regionally, they have their way of they they want it to be so it’s been this really interesting. Road to try to discover what I thought a fall somewhere down in the middle is what I’ve got to kind of do. So yeah, there’s there’s been a lot of work around that I was there something else I was messing with, I can’t remember, we’ve messed with Sangria a little bit to try to come up with a solution for you know, a lot of these like fast casual and chain restaurants that have extra line where they can pour it into the keg instead of going bad by the bottle. And then once they’ve reached a certain level, then that kegs ready to be used as a as a sangria keg, so that we can eliminate their loss on open water. So that’s been a concept that we’ve been kind of working through. Because you put a little brandy in there and then it fortifies it. You know, so

JJ

Jeremy Julian

38:02

I ended up very cool.

DR

Don Ray

38:05

With a five liter keg actually that you can pick up at the liquor store. You pop the top off of it, you put a liter of we’re doing a margarita so you put a liter of tequila in it and put the top back on and shake it up and then it’s like a box wine.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

38:20

Yeah, it’s a it’s like a party ball like you know, of course had those party balls for a backyard party or a

DR

Don Ray

38:25

five liter Heineken you know, kegs. Yep, we’ve got that’s been testing in Nashville. And I think it’s going to turn on in Florida. See how that goes for retail version of what we’re doing essentially, just to see how

JJ

Jeremy Julian

38:37

I can only imagine this on Broadway down in I was just in Nashville a couple of weeks back and it’s that places a zoo all the time. You know, doesn’t matter what time of day it is that places a zoo it’s worse than Vegas. It feels like anymore.

DR

Don Ray

38:48

We call it nashvegas.

JJ

Jeremy Julian

38:50

Yeah, oh, it’s it’s bad. It’s bad. The last few times I’ve been there, you know, the amount of sorority party and that’s where the party is, you know, wedding parties. Girls, you know, now it’s taken over Vegas for the bachelorette party of The Bachelorette capital of the world. So well guys, I am super excited that you guys are out there. I can’t wait to you know, I guess be able to teach my wife a couple years from now when she’s like, Oh, these guys they had these really cool drinks and they came out of the tap and I’ve never seen that before she comes home from from a night out with her girlfriends because I do think that this is something that you guys are hitting on so many of the things you guys are making it easier for the bartenders you guys are creating quality product, you guys are given them the choice of what it is that they need to do. And so I’m excited to hear you know, to hear the continued success so thank you guys for being on the show. Thank you guys for for sharing a bit of your story. Yeah,

DR

Don Ray

39:36

thank you so much for the time. It’s exciting to be able to tell the world you know about something that we’ve been working on and I think there’s just such a huge need that people will be excited about it

JJ

Jeremy Julian

39:46

very much so very much to our audience guys. We know that you guys have lots of different choices of of what you guys can listen to out there so we appreciate you guys taking time. I’d love to hear your guys’s success stories when you guys pull you know pull together the you know the craft standard stuff and You guys put it in, put it into your stores because, you know, I I’d love to hear the success and kind of see where that goes. And so, to our audience guys, we know that we know that you guys, you guys love to hear from us. We’d love to hear back from you guys. So please drop us a note on social media, Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook, as well. While you’re online, go subscribe to the newsletter once a month you guys will get an email with all of the podcasts and any of the other articles that we’ve posted to Don and William thank you guys so much and to your audience make it a great day. Thanks for listening to the restaurant technology guys podcast. Visit restaurant technology guys.com For tips, Industry Insights and more to help you run your restaurant better

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