Custom drink tokens help with branding. They can make a busy night at the bar much easier to handle. The tokens are also a great promotional tool that can be handed out at events around town. However, the one unspoken benefit of drink tokens is that they can generate a little profit over time.
One of the most common uses for custom drink tokens is to hand them when someone purchases a round of drinks. Most often, some of the patrons will already have a drink or will want to wait to get their drink. So, when the round is purchased the bartender will hand out drink tokens for every drink purchased. These can then be redeemed for a "free" drink at the bar.
Let's look at the numbers:
100 custom drink tokens handed out
8% not redeemed = 8 drinks paid for but not poured
$48 = price paid for the drinks not poured
$6 = cost of the custom chips not redeemed
$42 = net profit
If a bar hands out 100 drink tokens over the course of a weekend and 8% of those tokens are either lost, thrown out, or kept as a keepsake, then that will be 8 drinks that were purchased but never redeemed. At a cost of $6/drink, this is $48. The chips that are never returned back cost around $0.75/chip (depending on quantity purchased), so the cost is $6 for the chips. The net profit is then $42. While it's not a fortune, this is steady profit coming in. A bar that pushes the idea of tokens may see significantly more profit.