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Q&A with Sally McGill — Commercial Director, EnoDirect UK Ltd

Enomatic, the world leader in wine dispense and preservation, has its UK base in Norwich. Sally McGill explains how the wine serving system is helping our hospitality industry.

Sorry Sally, as always it ’s straight to the point! Why Enomatic? What sets you guys apart from other wine serving and preservation systems out there?

In so many ways! Other than the quality of the components and longevity in the marketplace, we have been in business as a UK distributor for 12+ years and our Italian R&D department have been working to evolve the brand for over 19 years, ensuring that we stay current and able to serve our customers in the best way possible. We are also the only company providing this kind of equipment to the hospitality industry with a full time in-house UK based staff with a 7 day a week service desk to assist staff. We partner with all of our customers to provide the best service possible and to support their business. Cheesy, I know, but true!

Enomatic is a tool for anyone in the hospitality industry to serve fine wines by the glass – this translates into businesses eliminating waste and increasing profits. It’s that good! And it’s simple: the state- of-the-art dispensers use patented technology and inert gas to displace the air in open bottles and preserve the wine for up to 21 days – this allows businesses to expand their by the glass offerings of premium wines, so benefits the business in terms of profits, and it’s a win for the consumer to enjoy a great wine by the glass. We also find that consumers tend to broaden their tastes and start to enjoy different wines that they wouldn’t usually have tried, just by having the ability to select a small pour first… before selecting a larger pour – and these dispensers are a little addictive!

Where is Enomatic based in the UK?

Our base is Norwich, and our team is amazing, covering Scotland to Cornwall and everything in between – on a weekly basis! My role is as Commercial Director – working in Ops and Sales, unusual but I love it and it means I never promise what we can’t deliver!

We are lucky that we have an amazing team here in the UK, another in Dublin, all supported by our techs in Italy.

Where would a pub, bar or restaurant begin if they wanted to install a wine serving system? A small village pub is very different from a large restaurant with high-end single glass pours.Their needs would differ right?

Right! But our systems are relevant in every type of venue - a small village pub is very different to a high end restaurant or hotel in the city, but the benefits and the ability to increase profit with these dispensers is the same. The key is to find your sweet spot – consumers enjoy a nice glass of wine whether they are in a village or a city, but the key is finding the right wines to serve by the glass according to your clientele and demographic – not your house wines, but a step up – those wines that wouldn’t usually be available by the glass – and then it’s a win-win! Businesses see a profit in the sales of wines by the glass, and consumers have a choice of wines that might not usually be available.

It sounds like an absolute no brainer to have a wine serving system due to the fact that over-pouring and lack of portion control leads to reduced profit margins. They also look brilliant behind the bar and really enhance the aesthetics of a venue. Are there still ‘Man over Machine’ sceptics out there?

Thanks! We’re proud of the design and a lot of thought goes into that along with functionality. Man over machine?

I don’t think so! Customers like the ability to select the wine, maybe taste and then select a larger glass, and love the buzz and camaraderie created by this kind of environment. Add to that control of wastage and over pouring, profits, whites and reds served at the correct temperature, three volumes which can be programmed…

Sorry, what was the question?!

It ’s hard to pick one from the thousands of jobs undertaken but, do you have a favourite install at a venue that just has a real wow factor? The type where a potential customer could go and see just how great the kit is for themselves?

There are so many who really get it and have made a great success with this concept. As a start – Le Vignoble Plymouth, Bath and Bristol; Salut in Manchester; Hedonism, London; Loki in Birmingham (now in three locations), The Sampler in London; Quob Park Estate Vineyard, and The Old House Hotel Hampshire area – amazing venues offering customers so many wines on Enomatic! It can be so simple – great wines by the glass, a few nibbles, a nice environment and a wine list to keep it interesting…

Who is the perfect client for you guys? A huge wine bar, one would imagine, ha!

Ah, but indies have a lot of heart – it’swhere we started and we don’t take that for granted, but also the wine suppliers, private customers, and the commercial groups with projects which keep pushing us to be our best with integrations of cards and systems… We recognise the value of every single customer and appreciate their business.

Where can wine preservation and serving systems go from here? Are there any designs or products on the drawing board that you can let us in on?

For those familiar with the Elite systems, we didn’t think there could be much improvement, but the Roma Series has now been released and so well received by the industry that it’s surpassed even our expectations. Superseding the Elites, the Roma dispensers have all the bells and whistles but with some improvements to energy consumption, larger touch screen and choice of wallpapers, or businesses can use their own branding. They look great, and they’re easier to use for staff, so lots to be excited about. We’re also involved in some exciting integration projects – with retailers, cruise ships, vineyards, hotel and hospitality management systems – it keeps us busy and on our toes!

Any establishments close to home you can tell us about?

Yes, the Wallow on Exchange Street in Norwich, which we opened as a working wine bar/showroom. It’s now under new management due to its success, and Laz and Kane provide a welcoming space at any time of day – they have 48 wines available by the glass over three levels. Also, the beautiful Harper Hotel in Langham, near the Norfolk coast – an absolutely beautiful place for a get-away – your room key will now also serve you wine! Too easy, right?

Also, we’re really proud to be fully integrated with Marks and Spencer foodhalls to allow customers to try the wines of the month! Just scan your Sparks card and you can taste each of the four wines on offer at any time.

Last time we spoke the hospitality sector was just coming alive again – we still have some associated issues with staffing, etc., but it’s great to see everyone back out and about, and we know that with time we can overcome all of this. Our products have always provided businesses a way to raise profits selling good wines by the glass and not just by the bottle, also allowing operation of the dispensers by self service to alleviate demands on staff, and it seems that now these things are more important than ever. Again, we’re grateful to be a part of this community and we’re looking to the future!

Please contact us with any questions or for more information:


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