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Choosing the Right On-Premise Specialist

Choosing the Right On-Premise Specialist

It can be confusing trying to find the right specialist for your business needs. That’s why we decided to do the research for you and bring you a list of the on-premise specialists that provide a wide range of services including connecting venues to suppliers, designing menus, purchasing and ranging decisions, staff training, and more. A couple also extend these services to retailers and online for those in regional areas.

The largest independent on-premise drinks specialist in Australia is 100Proof and was formed by three major wholesalers – Liquid Mix, Paramount Liquor and Liquid Specialty Beverages, mid-2016.

The group describes itself as a one-stop drinks solution for restaurants, bars and hotels and looks after over 6,000 venues with the existing wholesalers continuing to manage the ordering and delivery of products, while 100Proof acts as a consultancy to customers.

General Manager Duncan Baldwin explains, “Customers are not looking for the standard fair. They want a personalised approach that acknowledges their differences and helps to make their venue be successful and stand out from the crowd.

“Storing and dispatching boxes on time is great, but in reality, it’s now just a mandatory baseline. Our value proposition includes helping our customers to build beverage lists, train their staff, access real-time consumer and category data, leverage technology tools and create fantastic events.”

One of the tools 100Proof offers is the Menu Maker; it features over 6,500 licensed products and can create your entire list in a single session.

The group is working on a new website and an innovative new wine book, both due to launch in the coming months. You can get more information by emailing [email protected]

One of the oldest wholesalers is NILWA – the National Independent Liquor Wholesalers Association, which for 20 years has been partnering with suppliers to build brands in the on-premise.

Representing independent, family-owned wholesalers, current NILWA members include Gateway Liquor Wholesalers, Novocastrian Wholesale Liquor, Festival City Wine & Spirits, Festival City Food & Liquor, Oz North Food & Liquor Wholesalers, GH Cole & Son, Rivercity Wholesale Liquor, Monacellars and D’Aquino Group.

With a wholesaler based in each state and 28 sales staff on the road nationwide, NILWA can reach customers in metro and regional areas. Through its national Signature Drinks program, NILWA combines the service, products, promotions, training and knowledge of its members to assist more than 4,000 customers with their purchase and ranging decisions, providing a single and total wholesaling solution.

National Group Executive Jenny Hughes said, “We believe brands are built in the on-premise and NILWA wholesalers are experienced specialists in this channel. We work closely with suppliers to develop effective programs specifically for on-premise customers.”

eBev is one of the newer players to join the market and brings a more contemporary approach to wholesaling. It offers both venues and retailers a free online portal to buy, compare, shortlist, order, transact, manage inventory, analyse performance and communicate with suppliers from, and claims that it takes just ten minutes to place an order on its website.

Users just need an active liquor license to get started and once signed up they will receive a quarterly report with metrics on the popular suppliers and products, wine varietals and price points for example, from the previous quarter.

Suppliers can also use eBev to list and update product information and pricing, manage orders and track sales history.

General Manager Cassandra McDonald said, “beverage managers find eBev valuable because they can search for beverages based on price, variety, region, vintage or supplier and they are able to manage and order all their beverages in one place. Suppliers say that it’s invaluable for getting their products in front of hundreds of active buyers.”

eBev currently only has representatives in NSW and VIC, but can arrange online or over the phone contact and demonstrations to trade in other states. As it is an online platform, anyone in the country can access its services.

Wine, beer, cider, spirits and soft drinks can all be ordered through eBev. The site already has an impressive list of 22,931 wines from producers such as Oatley Fine Wine Merchants, Winestock, Young and Rashleigh, Treasury Wine Estates, Bacchus Wine Merchant, Moët Hennessy Australia, Negociants Australia, Fesq & Company, Fine Wine Partners, Déjà Vu, Ergo Wines, Vintage and Vine, McWilliam’s, Red + White, World Wine Estates and Wine Insights.

A new proposition to wholesaling and the first of its kind in Australia is Winescape, an online marketplace that connects buyers and suppliers of fruit, bulk and bottled wine at a fraction of the price of traditional distribution.

Bars, restaurants and retailers wanting to buy bottled wine to add to their lists or shelves can simply place a request on Winescape such as “looking for Margaret River cabernet” and Winescape will go out to its database of wineries to find the best match.

The buyer will then receive a list of suppliers to choose from and can make an offer at a price and volume that suits them.

There are no long-term contracts involved, and you don’t pay to register.

For this service, they charge 10 per cent to the supplier for each sale, while a wholesaler would buy wine from a contracted producer at somewhere between 20 to 40 per cent below the price that they sell it for.

Director Peter Allnutt said, “Given Winescape’s fee we have the capacity to return an increased price for wine sold back to the producer and to allow for the buyer to purchase at a lower price than would be possible from a wholesaler. Winescape’s mission is to return margin to those parties with skin in the game.”

He added, “The other competitive advantage we have is that we can sell suppliers wine in places they might not have distribution. We also act as a one-stop shop for buyers and can help them source a wine list from around the country for less and quicker.”

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