Four Prince Edward Island liquor stores will soon contain a Be Your Own Bartender (BYOB) kiosk, a touch screen with more 6000 cocktail recipes to help customers learn about cocktails.

BYOB is the brainchild of company President Matt Sullivan, and it allows liquor store customers to browse for cocktail recipes by name, ingredient or type of drink. Once the customer selects the recipe, the kiosk will print it.

The first BYOB kiosk appeared in Oak Tree, the busiest Charlottetown liquor store, and the three others are in Charlottetown and Summerside. Sullivan said the Oak Tree staff love the kiosk because they can find the perfect drink recipe for their customers without knowing all the ingredients off the top of their heads.

“It’s something intriguing for the liquor stores to have,” Sullivan said. “Typically, a cocktail consists of two or three bottles of alcohol, so there’s some up-selling involved.”

The BYOB kiosk is easy to use, so it helps both young and old customers. Sullivan said that the interface developers aren’t heavy drinkers themselves, so they made the interface simple and clear for a cocktail neophyte or connoisseur.

A few weeks ago, Sullivan helped a 70-year-old woman find cocktail recipes. She loved the kiosk so much that she said she’s going to use it every weekend to make a new drink.

“This is a great opportunity to both enhance the customer experience and educate them on how to make unique cocktails,” Jamie MacLeod, Director of Corporate Services for the PEI Liquor Control Commission, said in a BYOB press release.

Despite the BYOB kiosks’ success in liquor stores, Sullivan chose to monetize the product through advertising rather than asking the stores to pay for them. A kiosk costs about $5000 to manufacture.

Sullivan sells ads to pay for the kiosk expenses. It’s $100 for a business to advertise on a carousel on the main screen; $200 to be on the carousel, as well as feature a business coupon for the kiosk users; and $750 to be on the carousel, feature a coupon and place a poster on the kiosk itself.

BYOB partners with Timeless Technologies, a P.E.I. software firm, to decrease the software creation and maintenance costs for the kiosks.

Sullivan said he may eventually start charging the stores for kiosks, but currently they’re there to ensure that the kiosks are in high-traffic stores and convenient locations within the stores. BYOB launched only a few weeks ago, so with no profits expected for a while, Sullivan wants to get the company’s name out to the public.

He hopes that BYOB will get popular enough in the next few months that he can expand into Nova Scotia.

“We wanted to do it in our backyard first, and work out the bugs and figure out the model,” the Montague, P.E.I., business owner said. “That’s the good thing about P.E.I. – because it’s small we can work out the pains without it ruining us.”