Why our new system is important
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first hour sharpening my axe.”
It follows that Abraham probably would have said this, too: “If I had six hours to serve 1,000 mojitos at a corporate function, I would spend the first hour installing a post mix soda system. Seriously, guys – these systems make your service that much faster.”
We have carried Abraham’s ethos into our business. This means that all of our mobile bars are now equipped with post mix soda systems. It also means that we are Brisbane’s only mobile bar service that offers the abovementioned technology.
Without a post mix soda system, bartenders needs to pour soft drink or juice from ordinary bottles. You might be surprised to learn that this takes a LONG time. Why?
Firstly, the spray from our post mix system’s “soda gun” is fast and controllable. The rate-of-pour can be manipulated to suit each of our bartender’s preferences, and, most importantly, dispensing the soft drink involves the press of a button rather than the slower action of picking up a bottle and pouring it manually.
Secondly, the bartender needs to find the correct bottle of soft drink. This might seem easy. But it is not. At an event with over 100 people where multiple cocktails are being served, there can be dozens of different varieties of soft drinks and juices being served. This means that the bottles of soft drink/juice cannot be stored in the one place next to the bartender. There simply isn’t enough room when you consider the space taken up by alcohol bottles, ice bins, garnishings, beer taps and drip trays. The result of all of this is that the soft drinks are spread out across the bar and no one bartender has immediate access to the full range of soft drink/juices.
On its own, this issue doesn’t sound too bad. But it is. For the bartender to have to stop what he or she is doing and walk over to the place where the soft drink/juice is stored is time consuming. Even if it means an additional four seconds of preparation time, you need to multiply that delay by the number of drinks that might be served on the night. For example, at an event with one hundred attendees, that delay becomes 30 minutes by the end of the night! That is not good!
And that is only the tip of the iceberg. The real delay comes from the challenge of needing to regularly replace each soft drink/juice bottle. The last thing a bartender wants is for the mixer that he or she is pouring to run out. Unfortunately, an ordinary bottle of soft drink or juice has a one litre capacity. That means that the bartender is PLAGUED throughout the night with the inconvenience of having to constantly undertake the following process: dispose of the unsightly bottle that has been emptied, locate a new bottle of the correct mixer, and, finally, open the new bottle and bring their attention back to your guests’ drinks experience. Not ideal!
And we are still not finished with the list of delays that are caused by having to use ordinary bottles.
The final delay is the scale of work required to maintain a constant supply of mixer bottles, while, at the same time, constantly managing the disposal of empty bottles. This is a big job. Imagine how many bottles of mixers there are at an event with 100 people. If you can’t, it is about 120. 120 of bottles of mixers! That is not just a large number. It is a large amount of space. And therefore a large amount of organisation.
As was mentioned above, there is simply not enough room in a bartender’s immediate vicinity to store 120 bottles of mixers! Therefore, at multiple points throughout the night a ‘transfer’ has to be undertaken where bottles are moved from our van to the mobile bar. This transfer is not simple. When there are a dozen different types of mixers being used to serve drinks, a “stocktake” needs to be undertaken to determine which soft drinks are being used the most and therefore how to prioritise the storage of the soft drinks as closely as possible to the bartenders.
At the same time, disposal of mixer bottles becomes a big issue. As you can appreciate, if 120 bottles are going in, 120 bottles need to go out! Empty bottles are taken very seriously by us. This is for two reasons. First, they are unsightly. Second, they take up valuable space at our bartenders’ work stations. If empty bottles aren’t taken seriously, our mobile bar can very quickly become littered with used bottles and this affects the visual appeal of our service and the function of the mobile bar.
For this reason, empty bottles are binned immediately. But that is not the end of the issue! Far from it! 120 bottles of empty soft drink takes up as much space as 120 bottles of full soft drink. This means that our bins fill up very quickly. Before we installed our post mix soda system, at some events we would be removing full bins from our bar as regularly as every 15 minutes.
So… as you can appreciate now, the logistical challenge of dealing with 120 bottles of mixers is a great one. It is an especially great one when you consider the demand for drinks that is observed at an event with 120 people. The demand is so great that the Rumrunner’s mobile bar has to be constantly manned by two bartenders with no interruptions or breaks throughout the night. This means that there is no time to manage the supply of 120 bottles and the disposal of 120 bottles. It follows that our clients are forced into hiring a third bartender from us. Most of the third bartenders’ time was spent managing the mixer bottles! That is not how we wanted our clients’ money to be spent!
What’s more, the small capacity of ordinary bottles means that the bartender’s “performance” for your guests is interrupted. Imagine that our bartender is serving five Pimm’s cups to five of your guests. The bartender would line up the glasses along the front of the bar and make a performance of their preparation. Everything is going well in the performance, and, then, the performance is interrupted because the relevant bottle of lemonade or ginger beer has run out and a second bottle needs to be located and opened (and, the unsightly empty bottle needs to be disposed of). These interruptions are unacceptable. If you have hired a pop up bar service for your event, you want the preparation of your drinks to be a visual spectacle. Similarly, there is no use hiring professional bartenders if they are going to spend most of their time organising an unbroken supply of plastic bottles of cola!
We mentioned above the great number of bottles required to service a mobile bar without a post mix soda system. The number was 120. That is a lot of plastic.
And its use can be avoided. Now that we have installed our post mix soda system, we can serve 120 bottles’ worth of soft drink with zero bottles! The equivalent amount of soft drink can be stored in four boxes’ worth of syrup! Now… there is no more waste.
The environment benefits, our clients benefit, and, our mobile bar’s bartenders benefit. Everyone is happy!
How does a post mix soda system work?
Post mix soda systems are not complicated.
To understand how they work, you need to have a basic understanding of how soft drink is made. In simple terms, all soft drink is made by mixing carbonated water with flavours.
The soft drink that you buy at Coles or Woolworths is “pre mixed”. This means that the carbonated water and flavour is mixed together at the factory.
With the Little Rum Runner’s mobile bar, the soft drink is “post mixed”. This means that we mix the carbonated water/flavour at our mobile bar. The mixing does not occur until the carbonated water enters each of your guests’ glasses. It follows that the soft drink is fizzier and fresher than what you would buy at the super market. It is the technique adopted by all commercial bars.
Because a “post mix” system separates the water from the syrup, no bottles are required. All that needs to be taken to our event is a reservoir of water and boxes of “mixer syrup”. “Mixer syrup” is manufactured and sold by companies such as Coca-Cola and Bundaberg Rum.
So, in summary, the advantage of a post mix system is this: rather than taking a 120 bottles of different varieties of soft drink to an event, we need only take one reservoir of carbonated water and six boxes of syrup. This means that the speed of our mobile bar service has increased dramatically.
And, we are the first and only mobile bar service in Brisbane to offer a post mix soda to its guests.