“In a consumer led, self service world, where fast tracking through the tills in supermarkets is the norm and paying for petrol at the pumps is now common place, the Dragons in the Dragons’ Den didn’t have the ‘bottle’ to jump on to the next self service bandwagon,” says Robbie Ward, CEO of self pour beer system specialists Drink Command.
In the episode of Dragons’ Den (aired on BBC2 on 31st January), Dublin based ‘self pour’ beer specialists Drink Command, asked for £200k investment in exchange for a 10% stake in their business. Following the pitch, which took place in May 2015, and a grilling by the Dragons, Drink Command did not take a Dragon investment and business has boomed ever since!
Drink Command is the global leader in the self pour beer system market, where the customer can pour a pint of beer or lager themselves using a self-serve tap which is redeemed against pre-paid credit. With hundreds of installations globally, the business has a proven track record of delivering consistently profitable self-pour beer systems and is the technology leader in the sector.
“To date Drink Command ‘self pour beer systems’ have poured over five million pints of beer. If the system poured a bad beer we wouldn’t get past a few hundred pours,” explains Robbie Ward.
Deborah Meaden was most interested in the Drink Command pitch, but said that in order to make an offer she’d have to ask for more equity than she felt Robbie would be able to give. Deborah’s parting statement was that she thought that Drink Command would ‘make a go of this’ business.
What Happened Next? Business is BOOMING!!
So what has happened since Drink Command pitched to Dragons’ Den in May 2015?
- · The business has secured significant investment from a major supplier of refrigeration equipment to Heineken and Diageo right across Europe.
- Drink Command has trebled its turnover since May 2015.
- The business has designed and developed a number of new mobile self-serve counter units which supersede the model seen on Dragons’ Den.
- Drink Command has appointed new distributors in India, Middle East, China and Australia.
- The business has engaged with several major international drinks brands and several international beverage equipment manufacturers.
- The business has now completed hundreds of installations across five continents.
- To date Drink Command ‘self pour beer systems’ have poured over five million pints of beer. If the system poured a bad beer we wouldn’t get past a few hundred pours.
The Drink Command product range has no downsides. For the consumer, waiting time is reduced and every beer is perfectly chilled. They simply walk up to the bar and pour themselves the perfect pint: no queuing, no hassle and they can go back whenever they want. For operators, such as stadiums, theatres, bars and the like, they can better meet consistent demand or spikes in demand, often experienced during half time at a sports event or the interval during a performance, which means more beer can be sold, thereby helping increase margin.