Stock Market for Cocktails: The Future of Bars?

New software company/mobile app determines the price of drinks, Wall Street-style
The Brew Exchange, in Austin, uses The Drink Exchange's software to price beers.

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

No one really likes watching the stock market rise and tumble daily, but there's one frontier that the stock market hasn't tackled — until now. A new software company, called The Drink Exchange, has taken the ups and downs of drink orders at the bar and turned it into its own market. 

The Drink Exchange, founded by Charleston, S.C., entrepreneurs Cole Patterson and Todd Schram, predicts the prices of drinks using an algorithm based on which drinks are the most ordered, and the least ordered. It's a (sort of) simple premise: the more a drink is ordered, the higher the price rises; the fewer drinks, the lower the price. Patrons of the bar can watch prices rise, and fall, on TV screens and ticker screens (and buy drinks accordingly). Imagine the trading floor of the Stock Exchange, only the traders are buying booze instead of stocks. Now, with a mobile app, you can also influence the prices of drinks. 

So far, the software is in 25 bars, but Schram told Wired that the team expects to be in 300 bars by the year's end. (He also shared major tips on how to score cheaper drinks using the system — you're welcome.) By the looks of Austin's Brew Exchange,  the first beer-market based bar, this is one idea that's catching on. 

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