HOUSTON - A Houston restaurant owner is trying to keep up with the evolution of the “new normal” with his latest venture in Spring Branch.
According to a new survey released by the National Restaurant Association this week, roughly 17% or more than 110,000 restaurants in the US have closed permanently this year-- 10,000 of those in the past 3 months.
"It's still under construction but this is going to be the first location for Shoot the Moon," said Kevin Floyd, executive director.
With a name picked specifically for Space City and an underlying message that means putting everything on the line for success, Shoot the Moon aims to do just that as the first self-serve tap room in the city.
Floyd says he’s going to raise the bar, by getting rid of it.
"Here we’ve taken away the bar and what's going to be above these taps are computer screens.
The guest will be able to come in, get their ID checked, their age verified, open a tab and they’ll have an access card that’ll open all these taps," said Floyd.
Customers will be charged by the ounce to their access card which can be prepaid or linked to a credit card just like a typical open tab.
With a simple scan, they’ll be able to choose from a variety of beers, wines, and cocktails on draft and pour themselves a tall one.
But a self-serve bar means a significantly less need for wait staff and person-to-person contact.
"The front of the house staff we can reduce between 50 and 70% total population. Generally speaking, one staff member can handle about 20 people in a traditional model, and in this model, one member can handle about 40 people.
"This type of self-service system was illegal in the state of Texas until March 2019 and then the TABC revised their policies. I've seen this type of concept in other cities like Denver," said Floyd.
The computer also has a system in place that limits the amount of alcohol a customer can serve themselves and staff members are on standby to cut anyone off if necessary.
"The system will allow the guest to pour two portions of beer, wine or spirit. When they hit that two portions, the system will automatically stop working, so they’ll have to have a staff member reauthorize them. The staff can look at what they’ve consumed and they can make a determination," Floyd said.
Floyd says he and his partners initially planned to open five Shoot the Moon locations in five years across Houston, but the pandemic made everything much more difficult. Shoot the Moon now has a crowdfunding campaign that allows Houstonians to become investors.
As an added incentive, Floyd's offering free pizza for life.
"For everyone that invests $1000 or more into the crowdfunding campaign, you’ll get free pizza for life. One pizza every week for life. We did the math and you could get the return on your money in just two years," Floyd said.
To learn more about Shoot the Moon, click here.