August 11, 2016

Whilst looking through the articles on robots can’t replace bartenders, I have spent most of my afternoon reading the specification on the Monsieur and having a play with the web app etc.

The article raises many valid points about how the machine cannot replace bartenders. However, I have found several more pressing arguments for and against the machine.

Just to be clear, this is not just an article to slate the machine; I think that it is a brilliant concept, but only if used correctly and safely.

The Monsieur Could Cause Intoxication

This is by far one of the most important roles of a bartender. As servers, we have the ability to discern when the customer has had too much to drink.

This is an ability the Monsieur does not have.

So as the machine is self-service, this does create a problem for the venue and the staff, as they will be liable.

Age Verification

As it is a machine and the app doesn’t require any age authentication to access it, it could encourage underage drinkers – unless the machine is suitably supervised.

In effect, the business itself would be liable for serving drinks to underage people.

Ice And Garnishing Cocktails

Dangers Of The Monsieur

The machine comes in two models: one is a bar/table top model and the other, free standing.

The freestanding model does produce its own ice. However, the bar top model does not. This isn’t a problem, as it’s possible to have an ice dump or ice machine close by, but there are then issues with health and safety.

One of the most iconic aspects of the majority of cocktails is its garnish. From the verdant green combination of mint and lime in a Mojito, to the simplicity and deep earthy hews contrasted with the bright orange zest of the Old Fashioned, this simply can’t be replicated without a human touch.

The Monsieur doesn’t have the capability to garnish drinks. If it did, it would require a garnish tray with a self-service concept. This would create some health and safety and stock issues as you would be unable to monitor customer use of this facility effectively.

Fresh Ingredients

Many of the cocktails that this machine can produce use a combination of lime and lemon juice with sugar syrup. To make a refreshing cocktail such as the Mojito and Caipirinha, you need fresh ingredients. Not using fresh fruits and herbs will make the drinks bland.

There are some good points to the Monsieur – particularly the bar top version. An example of this would be making a bar standard espresso martini, as whilst the espresso itself is being poured, the machine could be pouring the ingredients in to the Boston tin, thus speeding up service.

Alternatively, just putting cold-pressed coffee in the machine would work.

For bartenders, making even basic cocktails can be time-consuming, but with the machine inventing some extra time for bartenders, they can concentrate on maintaining things such as stock control and general hygiene of the bar.

Over all, I feel that if used correctly and maintaining a level of awareness about its strengths and weakness, it could be greatly beneficial to small venues which may not have a need for full-time cocktail bartender.

For busy bars, having two or three of these machines to make simpler cocktails could relieve some pressure from the bartenders.

But for those of us who relish in the art of cocktail making, this device is nothing to fear. Instead, we should use this new creation to enhance our abilities to create wonderful and amazing mixes.

What do you think of the Monsieur? Are you for or against it? Tweet us your thoughts, or write to us on Facebook.