Imagine this: You are hanging out at a bar with a few friends. You go ahead and order some drinks. Isn't that normal and boring? What if you could trade the prices of drinks like you do on a stock market? Your favorite beer may cost you more if everyone else likes it too. Oh, maybe you could go for that red wine, cheaper than usual, because no one has ordered it yet. How exciting could your evening get?
The good news is that the Bar Stock Exchange, Mumbai, has made that possible for you. The hero behind this unique idea and implementation is Aurus IT Solutions.
Rahul Dhingra, CEO, Aurus IT Solutions, doesn't have a clichéd story about how two friends met at a bar and had a life-altering idea about Bar Stock Exchange. This clearly was a case of a well-thought-out business plan. Dhingra and his team found an unharnessed opportunity in the F&B sector. There was an abundance of customers, but no major digital player to cater to them. "Today, there're people drinking at the bar, but at times there is a pinch in their pocket. So we kind of combined the two. Therefore, the idea was pretty strategic," says Dhingra.
From there began the journey of building a platform on which a stock exchange-like trading for alcohol can be run. This would later be installed in 40 bars across the globe.
The ABC of trading at BSE
Customers can assess the current price of the preferred drink on LED scrollers installed in the bar or on the restaurant's app. The drink can also be ordered on the app. The waiter gets a notification on his tablet and confirms the customer's order. And voila! Your drinks are on the way. This process is pretty much like other restaurants.
The tricky twist is to assess the prices as it is directly proportional to the demand. If the demand for beer is more, its price shoots up. If no one is ordering whiskey, its price spirals down.
There is an entirely different console at the manager's end. "Managers have the apps and web console to maintain their own menu, pricing, and change the way the pricing controls work. Thus, the operation is entirely self-managed by the bar," say Dhingra.
Today, the concept is a hit and it has been adopted in countries like UAE, Canada and Russia. But there has been a lot of learning involved. Dhingra first introduced the theme at a pub in Juhu and after a small stint it shut down. Dhingra says that was his learning. "We learnt that we needed to focus on three stakeholders. First, customers should be part of the theme. Second, the bar owner should market the theme well. Third, the staff plays a critical role. Therefore, they need to be trained and the apps have to be user friendly," says Dhingra.
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