By Gaige Davila
“I love the way that it looks. It looks perfect. It’s exactly what I sent them,” Robert Foehringer told the PRESS during an interview at Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, on South Padre Island, where he bartends, as he showed off the completed model of The Bar Ringer, his glass polisher invention.
Over the last month, as first reported by the PRESS in its October 24, 2019, edition, The Bar Ringer was being produced in Baoding City, China, using a new design that incorporated elements of Foehringer’s prototype model. This new Bar Ringer, however, is made of stainless steel, and uses a sparsely-bristled center, unlike its totally-bristled predecessor.
A hundred Bar Ringers are slated to be made, which will be sent to a hundred buyers who’ve placed orders for the device while Foehringer prepared its mass-production design. He expects them to be produced and sold by the end of this month.
Foehringer says The Bar Ringer’s website and instructional video, which will be uploaded to YouTube, are being worked on. The Bar Ringer’s packaging is also being designed, which will include a link to the instructional video. The Bar Ringer will also come with instructions to manipulate the device to fit glasses of various sizes, whether a 10 ounce wine glass or a pint glass.
Foehringer says the new model works just the same as his prototype, which he uses behind the bar at Gabriella’s regularly, and found familiarity in the new device upon its first use.
“It’s all about speed and getting people out of work,” Foehringer said, talking about the purpose behind inventing The Bar Ringer. “That’s my whole goal: let people go home early and save businesses a wage. Polishing wine glasses by hand sucks.”
Foehringer says he hasn’t polished a wine glass by hand in five years.
The Bar Ringer’s price, per unit, is around $300, which is far lower than other polishing devices, which can range in the thousands of dollars. Foehringer says none of these devices simultaneously polish and dry the glasses, as The Bar Ringer does, which he says is a major selling point of his invention.
Foehringer said his wife, Melissa Cerda, supported him throughout his journey with the project. “I didn’t even apply for the patent without asking for her permission, and getting the okay to do it,” he said.
Foehringer is hoping for the project to be on the market, ready for sale, by this month, or, at the latest, by February 2020. He’s considering pitching The Bar Ringer to be sold at major chains such as Target, Walmart, Amazon and other bar supply companies.
Foehringer is also working on a no-touch wine polishing glass system, which he says he’ll focus more on once The Bar Ringer’s production steadies.
The Bar Ringer’s mass-production model he was sent, he says, is for sale.