Rapid Fired Pizza on South Main Street has increased its diner’s selection liberties with the installation of Bowling Green’s first iPourIt self-pour beer wall. No bartender required.
Upon entrance, customers will notice 18 taps accompanied by digital screens, indicating the various selections available for self-pour beer.
“What we’re really trying to engender is like a winery style. Try a whole bunch of flavors, get out of your box a little bit and experiment,” Wiley Development Group President Chris Wiley said.
Patrons simply request to use the beer wall and are then asked for their driver’s license. The license is scanned to verify the patron’s age. After approval, they receive an electronic wristband that activates a tap for pour when touched to the tap’s digital screen.
Consumers are charged by the ounce and build up a tab, up to just over 20 ounces.
“We’re obviously not trying to become a bar,” said Ross Wiley, franchisee and operator of the Bowling Green location. “But we do like the craft beer feel though. We’re really trying to fill that niche between good food and good beer.”
All 18 taps features a different beer. Rhinegeist, Zombie Killer, Bowling Green Beer Works, Great Lakes Brewing Co. — almost all of the beers featured are local and regional brews. Customers are strongly encouraged to try a multitude of beers during their visit and not just be satisfied having a tall glass of one.
“Rapid Fired was founded in Kettering, Ohio, so we’ve always tried to stay local and get what we can from the local guys,” Ross Wiley said. “We were able to get full-pull from Bowling Green Beer Works, so we’ll be showcasing a lot of his stuff. We’re going to stay local the best we can because Ohio has some great breweries.”
The iPourIt system compliments Rapid Fired Pizza’s fast-casual restaurant idiosyncrasies. There’s no waitresses or bartenders, so eating at Rapid Fired Pizza is a quick and easy experience.
“We’re a part of what they call the ‘fast-casual’ revolution,” Chris said. “The industry pundits are all talking about it. Fast-casual is defined as, ‘I pick it any way I want, I point, I look and I get it exactly the way I want it.’ Our vision is to be fast-casual with all its potential but not end up in the bar scene.
“We don’t want people thinking, ‘I don’t want to bring my kids in.’ Fast-casual is essentially eroding away the Applebee's and the TGI Friday’s. The places where you have to sit and wait for a waitress.”
Beer fanatics can find, follow and rate Rapid Fired Pizza’s alcohol experience on the Untapped app for smartphones. There, users can be notified when a new brew is put on a tap, and users can leave ratings of each beer they try.
Even with the new beer wall, Rapid Fired Pizza is still a community restaurant, designed for every patron.
“This is a warm, comfortable, safe atmosphere that anyone can feel comfortable in,” said Alicia Wiley, store affiliate and wife to Ross Wiley. “It’s just a really happy feeling, and that’s why I think people keep coming back week after week. They love that comfortable, safe atmosphere that they can let their guard down to and just have fun.”