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L’OUI connects its cocktail machine with KPN IoT

The perfect Pornstar Martini, Mojito or Strawberry Daiquiri within 30 seconds? Sure, thanks to L’OUI, a connected capsule machine for cocktails. But entrepreneurs in the food and beverage sector want to know they can always rely on this new force behind the bar. Thanks to KPN IoT, L’OUI is always connected and always a step ahead of potential malfunctions.

With its “Nespresso machine for cocktails” L’OUI is responding to the growing demand for cocktails as well as to the current staff shortage in bars and restaurants. “The cocktail market is growing rapidly and is taking over part of the beer market”, says Edwin de Koeyer who, along with Daan Gijbels, brought L’OUI to the market.

For entrepreneurs in the food and beverage sector this development offers good opportunities. Cocktails have a higher profit margin than, for example, beer and soft drinks. More cocktails means increased turnover. “But behind the bar they cannot cope with the rising demand for cocktails,” De Koeyer points out.

“Professional bartenders are hard to find at present”, adds Gijbels. “The bar gets gridlocked easily, especially when several cocktails are ordered in quick succession. Bar and restaurant operators are therefore opting not to offer cocktails at all, or to limit the available choice. That means they are consciously missing out on sales.”

Help behind the bar

With L’OUI’s help, entrepreneurs in the food and beverage sector can offer a range of cocktails even at a time when fewer staff are available. And they can serve cocktails at a speed that cannot be matched with a shaker. For instance, within 30 seconds a creamy Piña Colada is ready on the bar. Then, after a rapid self-clean, L’OUI will prepare, for example, a Sgroppino at equal speed.

More than 20 different capsules are already available for preparing a variety of cocktails in one and the same machine. “And we can quickly develop capsules for a new cocktail for which there is great demand at any given time,” says Gijbels. Other than the capsules, there are no purchase costs for bar and restaurant operators. The cocktail machine can be leased for a monthly amount that covers the costs.

All about Internet of Things

The capsules simplify inventory management enormously: one capsule makes one cocktail. Furthermore, the quality of the cocktails is consistently excellent. “We aim to equal and even exceed the quality level that a barman attains with a shaker,” says De Koeyer. “We are always on the lookout for ways to perfect our recipes so that we can offer even higher quality.”

To that end, L’OUI is getting help from the Internet of Things. “Using sensors we monitor the ambient temperature of L’OUI continuously, as well as the humidity,” De Koeyer gives as an example. “On the basis of the sensor data we can then adjust the recipe and the hardness of the ice.”

"L'OUI makes the life of the food and beverage entrepreneur easier," Gijbels adds. "The machine even generates a daily report of the cocktails made. It is then easy to compare it with the sales data. Time to order some more capsules? The entrepreneur then automatically gets a push notification. We also predict which cocktails will be popular."

Preventive maintenance

Gijbels believes that quality also means that the user experience is at a high level. "It has to be easy as possible for the barman to prepare a cocktail. But that is only part of the user experience. The number of cleaning actions needed and the number of machine malfunctions also determine the ease of use of the machine."

“It is, after all, a machine. So malfunctions can never be ruled out,” Gijbels continues. “But on the basis of the data we get from L’OUI, our maintenance partner Van Duijnen Horeca Service can predict a malfunction, estimate what kind of fault it is and take preventive action, for example by scheduling a maintenance inspection in good time, or by asking the customers to take a particular action. This enables us to prevent the bar or restaurant operator from losing sales because of a malfunction.”

To enable, for example, effective preventive maintenance, the connection with L’OUI must always be live. “So you don’t want to rely on a Wi-Fi connection,” says Joost Dessing, managing director of Craftworks, which developed the cocktail machine. “The stability of Wi-Fi connections is always a challenge. And if a change is made to the Wi-Fi network, the machine has to be configured again in order to be able to make cocktails. For a device that generates relatively little data, an end-to-end is both connection overkill and overpriced.”

It turned out that providing L’OUI with its own SIM cards to connect via KPN’s LTE-M network was a better alternative. “The KPN network is very reliable and secure,” says Dessing. “KPN also provides a genuine IoT platform that is reasonably priced.” This platform provides all the modular building blocks needed to implement and manage IoT solutions quickly and easily.

In opting for KPN IoT L’OUI also recognized that its ambitions extend beyond the Netherlands. The company already has contacts in Denmark and Belgium and there are plans to enter other markets including France, Germany and – later – the USA. “We know that KPN can offer us coverage everywhere in the world,” says Dessing.

Always connected

The initial experience with KPN IoT has been very positive. “We have direct contact with the developers. If we need a certain functionality – such as the ability to update parameters remotely – action is taken on it almost immediately,” Dessing adds with satisfaction. “We always get speedy service.”

The coverage is as expected too. “One entrepreneur has installed L’OUI in an old concrete lift shaft,” Gijbels confides. “But even there we have a problem-free connection with L’OUI. So together with KPN IoT we assure the continuity of our services.”

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