The H&C EXPO website will regularly feature exhibitors pre-show to keep visitors up to date with the latest product and service innovations at the show. In the run-up to the H&C EXPO, get the inside track on what companies exhibiting have to offer the market and how it is delivered.
This week, we meet with Gill Head, Marketing Manager of Artis, at their offices in Chessington, Surrey to gain a better understanding of the business and to discover what they are excited about exhibiting.
Artis is one of the largest suppliers of unique and exclusive cutlery, glassware, tableware and barware to the UK food service industry. Their clientele includes many Michelin star rated restaurants, vibrant bars and premier hotels.
Artis is recognised as a are a global business, but where did it all begin?”
Established some 66 years ago, the company has built itself an enviable reputation for quality, innovation, design and exemplary service. It has forged strong, long-standing alliances with a select number of leading UK and international manufacturers. Customers centric approach means that Artis is now recognised and used by thousands of hotels, restaurants and bars throughout the UK, including many of the leading multiples.
Artis was affectionately known as ‘that little company in the south of England that sold quirky cocktail glasses!’ Today, no matter what type of out of home eatery or bar you are in, you will invariably find one or more Artis products. The company distributes a carefully selected range of prestigious global brands – predominantly on an exclusive basis. Bauscher, Durobor, Duralex, Libbey, Luigi Bormioli Tafelstern, Tramontina and WNK are just a few of the major brands that we are associated with and which are recognised for their quality, value and innovation. The company prides itself on spotting trends early on and having an eye for detail. But paramount in our approach is a thorough understanding of our customers’ needs and expectations.
October 2014, was a landmark step in the Company’s evolution, Artis partnered with German manufacturer, BHS Tabletop AG and this strategic alliance gave Artis access to the globally recognised Tafelstern and Bauscher brands. Gill remarks “BHS tabletop AG is the largest manufacturer of professional tableware in the world and we were thrilled to have these prestigious brands added into our portfolio”. The move has catapulted Artis into the top echelons of tabletop companies serving the professional hospitality market. The exclusivity of these brands has given the company the strength and diversity to present itself as a ‘one stop shop’ supplying everything for the professional table and bar.
How do you communicate with your target market?
We liken table and barware to a fashion business. So, it is natural that our customers and potential clients will wish to see, feel and touch our products to know how they would look in their own establishments. We try to give them every opportunity to view our products for themselves. Our presence at the H&C Expo is a great opportunity to exhibit, providing a forum for existing and potential customers to see our latest products up close and personal.
We also produce a new 228-page fully illustrated colour catalogue every spring. It gives details of all our tableware, cutlery, glassware and bar products. A separate price list is available so customers can readily see costs and pack quantities. Bars and restaurants are welcome to request samples of any of our products to see how they will work with their own menus.
Quite apart from that, we have a purpose-built and fully stocked showroom at our premises in Chessington. This is easily accessible from London and the South of England and customers or potential clients are encouraged to visit us, to see for themselves our products. Additionally, plans are now advanced for Artis to open a second showroom in Manchester that will be accessible for our clients in the North of England, Scotland, Wales and the Midlands.
We are regularly advertising in the foodservice media and we would encourage customers to sign up to our Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram feeds. Here, they will learn quite a lot about what is ‘cool’ and on trend in the table and barware business.
What are the trends for 2017 and beyond in the tableware and barware markets?
Artis never rests on its laurels and is relentless in its pursuit of new trends. In glassware, Artis was instrumental in driving a trend towards vintage glassware, which is now so popular. It was quick off the mark, too, in recognising the resurgence of the iconic Gin & Tonic. Here, presentation is so important and the ‘coupe de balon’ style glasses complete the experience of signature gins, premium tonics and botanicals. Still strong is the demand for copper and metal drinking vessels and barware. This trend has been popular for a year or two now and with each new catalogue we add to the range, the latest lines being copper and stainless-steel pineapples for cocktails and a flight of copper beer mugs.
How can the trade differentiate itself from its competition using your products?
Precisely by keeping up with the trends. By replacing tableware and glassware when the fashion changes, not when they wear out or look shabby. By listening to what is trending on Twitter and Facebook. We would, however, sound a note of caution. Only take on trends in drinking vessels and tableware that suit your establishment and fulfil your marketing plan. For example, glass jam jars may be fine in a hip urban bar, but would really look out of place in a smart hotel cocktail bar.
A good way to make your restaurant proposition different is with statement plates. These highlight your chef’s signature dishes and create that ‘wow’ factor at the table. Here texture and colour are important to enhance the effect. Adding a splash of colour or an item with textured pattern is a nice finishing touch to the tabletop lifting some dishes from a sea of plain white porcelain. Examples of statement plates from the Artis portfolio include; ‘Purity Pearls’ illustrating the texture.
During the last few years, there has been a rise in the use of raw materials in restaurants and bars, giving them a more industrial feel. Tafelstern identified this trend with the launch of its range ‘concrete statement plates’, exclusively available in the UK to Artis.
Another way to differentiate yourself from a competitor is to personalise your tableware. This is perceived as a sign of high quality and a reinforcement of the establishment’s brand. To cater for this demand in the market Artis has pioneered a bespoke tableware service offering through its Tafelstern and Bauscher brands. Caterers can choose to have their own designs, logos or patterns fired onto the porcelain and, because these are in-glaze decorations, restaurants can be sure they will last. Artis is involved from the initial design stage right through to delivery, so that customers get exactly what they want.
What manner of after sales care do you offer your customers?
Artis may have over 3,000 products available to its customers, however, it thrives on delivering a personal touch. We have a people-based culture. Our Managing Director, John Artis, remains with the business after joining his father’s when he was just 17. Artis has a sales team of six, headed by the Nick Pullen and between them they have over 80 years’ industry experience. That’s a whole lot of expertise for our customers to benefit from.
What of the future?
The most exciting developments for many businesses is artificial intelligence and whilst some restaurants and bars will always be people based, some customers will be wowed by having their food or drinks served by robots!
Artis are proud to be involved with the H&C EXPO, an exciting new initiative for the hospitality industry in a great location. We look forward to seeing our existing customers and welcoming new ones to our stand at the Expo in June 2018.
Gill Head, Artis, Marketing Manager
Please feel free to contact us before the exhibition on your preferred platform. Details as follows:
Gill Head, Marketing Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0298 8391 8542
Artis, Cox Lane, Chessington Surrey, KT9 1SF
020 8391 5544
email us: email@example.com
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