Vendex Launch For Westomatic’s New Machine ‘Coffee To Go’
MD Richard Brinsley is clearly excited by his company’s latest machine ‘Coffee To Go’. It’s shaking up the NHS and with the zeal of an evangelistic tub-thumper, he tells us, ‘we’re taking the whole thing into a completely retail situation.’
By ‘the whole thing’, Richard means vending per-se; but he uses ‘Coffee To Go’ in particular to hammer home his point. ‘You can use your own cups if you wish, your own stirrers, your own lids’, Richard says. ‘And this machine brings much, much greater choice. It has a 10 bar, bean-to-cup pressurized brewer, plus Fresh Brew tea and a range of other instant drinks, but on this machine, we’ve introduced milk shakes.’
Milk shakes? Surely not…
‘Do you want to try one? What flavour?’ Richard asks us. ‘There’s Vanilla, Hazelnut or Strawberry.’ The strawberry shake – which looks as thick and creamy as a milkshake should – tastes surprisingly good: cool, sweet and full of flavour.
‘Vanilla’ and ‘Hazelnut’ are made with the same syrup that customers use to customise their coffee and they all use with the same granulated milk that’s used to whiten the hot drinks.
Many machines these days boast screens capable of showing video in HD quality, but this is the first we’ve seen that has its own built-in bill-board, a miniature of those you see these days around the perimeters of Premier League football grounds. ‘It’s amazingly effective’, Richard says. ‘We have a customer in Russia and on Day One of the new machine going in, sales went up by thirty percent and they’ve stayed that way. It’s updated by wi-fi, so you can change the message as often as you like, from anywhere with an Internet connection.
‘We’ve been pushing up, pushing up, pushing up, Richard says, ‘bringing in new graphics people want to see and expanding our market in the process. These days we have customers in Russia, North America; the Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore, but the UK is still our main market.’
Ideal for hospitals
Richard sees a bright future for the new multi-drink machine. ‘The first machines to be installed have gone into the NHS’, he said. ‘It’s ideal for hospitals. There’s no sugar in the NHS syrup shots, so it ticks all the boxes and in one case, Costa is being removed and replaced with this new solution. That brings costs down and enables the machine to generate much-needed cash that can be used for patient services.’
At PV, we’ve extolled the virtues of keeping beverage profits in the NHS many, many times before and with this machine, the argument in favour of ‘kicking out the corporates’ just got even more persuasive.