Autorista and Hydration Station: A ripple of applause led me to the Westomatic stand, writes Ian Reynolds-Young. A new machine had been unveiled and although at first sight it waddled like a duck, swam like a duck and quacked like a duck, MD Richard Brinsley, (pictured above), was at pains to point out that it wasn’t, in fact, a duck.
‘First of all, we want to make it clear that this is not a vending machine’, he said. ‘What we’re trying to do is to raise the whole profile of coffee and this is an automated HoReCa system, which is why it’s called the Autorista.’
It turned that Richard was right: the duck was, after all, a swan…
‘Autorista delivers great coffee; it delivers tea, and other products as well. With this machine, our customer can compete with brands that are selling at premium prices and not be afraid to do so. It has a full-size screen, its electronics are absolutely state of the art with a telemetry system, advertising capability and all sorts of other features. All in all, it has everything our customers need to enable them to compete very favourably with all those big brands.
‘However, the mentality of the vending operator needs to change, he has to think ‘I can sell a drink for £2.50′.
The Autorista is a substantial machine, however you look at it. it’s made of heavy steel designed to make the machine both robust and enduring; it has a mighty 10 bar pressurised brewer and every part of the machine is easy to access for maintenance, making it a pleasure to work with.
Westomatic sees Autorista as being the ideal solution for malls, shopping centres, railway stations and the like, As well as a wide variety of coffees and teas, milk shakes are also available, as are cold coffee drinks. It is designed and built in the UK to the extent that 96% of its components are sourced in this country.
The other head turner on the Westo stand was its new Hydration Station. ‘We have for many years produced the Azure, a water vending system that dispensed a cup’, Richard said,’but now, the atmosphere in society has changed. Nobody seems to want a plastic cup any longer; indeed people are very averse to the use of plastic bottles. For example, this time next year, there will be a deposit scheme on plastic bottles in Scotland.
Increasingly, people are making the choice to use their own water bottle as an alternative to single-use plastics, even if they are recyclable. The concept of this machine was to provide a system that allows consumers to bring their own bottle and re-filling it. By offering chilled, UV filtered water, in a variety of flavours, we’re responding to the changing mores of consumers without penalising them by removing the element of choice.’
Autorista and Hydration Station
‘The first machine we put out charged just 50p for people to refill their own bottles, compared with, maybe, £1 to buy a bottle of water. We’re not trying to undercut the price of bottled water though:’, Richard said, ‘on the contrary, we’re aiming to appeal to those people who want to fill their own bottle rather than add to the plastic emergency that is a major risk to the environment.
‘In our office, staff come in and even though the first thing they do is refill their water bottle, they still drink coffee, so there’s no reduction in coffee sales as a result of having a Hydration Station.
The concept is enjoying excellent early adoption in the marketplace, as Richard explained: ‘We’ve just installed 23 hot drinks machines in Exeter for a company who wanted staff to use their own cups. Paper and plastic cups are not banned, they are still in the machine, but they are used less and less. If you want to use a paper cup, you’ll be charged more; so there’s an additional incentive for consumers to do their bit for the environment.’
Autorista and Hydration Station: Westomatic’s Vendex Double-Whammy is Hot And Cold – And Green!
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