Tax auditors gave Kyle Tweter his inspiration.
The co-owner of The Moose bar in downtown Vancouver was alarmed when the auditors found a discrepancy worth thousands of dollars between the number of liquor shots sold and the volume the venue had purchased.
After hiring a private inventory-monitoring firm, Mr. Tweter was able to rule out theft and spillage, only to realize the size of the shot glasses was to blame.
Since U.S. shot-glass makers have dominated the North American market, most Canadian bartenders, including staff at The Moose, had been pouring a standard U.S. one-ounce shot (30 millilitres).
But one fluid ounce, as determined by Measurement Canada, is 28.4 millilitres.
The difference of less than two millilitres may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly.
The average restaurant spends $2,500 a month on liquor; it can save roughly $2,100 a year using the Can-Pour glass that Mr. Tweter created to measure up to Canadian standards. Those that pour $20,000 worth of alcohol a month can save an estimated $16,800 annually.
Mr. Tweter paired up with Dan Wilson and founded Can-Pour Industries Ltd. in 2010.
The company operates out of a 300-square-foot Vancouver office and now has six employees.
“It's been crazy,” Mr. Tweter says. “It's growing so quick.”
Can-Pour is now awaiting a patent on its shot glasses, which are manufactured in Shenzhen, China.
Thankfully, Mr. Tweter says, he no longer needs to promote the brand.
“Now that we're six months in, a lot of people have heard of us, so it comes as a little bit less of a shock. But when we first went out into the market, alerting people to the issue, everybody was completely blown away.”
This article originally appeared in the October issue of Report on Small Business magazine.