Olivier Deveaud worked for large service groups before starting his own business to create restaurant concepts. Now a partner and CEO of MYWAH, Olivier brings to the young company his 30 years of experience in the market of cafés-hotels-restaurants (CHR) and catering. Interview.
What convinced you to join MYWAH?
When Sophie Blum, the president of MYWAH, contacted me and introduced me to the Edgar wine dispenser, I immediately got that it was a major innovation. I know the hotel and restaurant market very well, and I know the industry is craving for a device such as Edgar, capable of serving wine by the glass at the right temperature, immediately and continuously. Prior to Edgar, there was nothing really effective to fulfill this need. I joined the company simply because I believe in the product.
When did this need arise?
This is a trend that has been evolving since the early 2000s. The way people consume wine has drastically changed. In restaurants, people order less and less wine bottles, because they want to remain in control of both their consumption and their budget, they want to avoid wasting their money. Consumers also want to pair wine with food. This phenomenon explains the exponential development of the wine by the glass. Meanwhile, the behaviors have changed, the service did not and remains archaic. Restaurant staff does not have the time, in the heat of the moment, to go back and forth to open a bottle, to present it to a client, to serve him a drink, and then bring the bottle back for storage in a cool place, etc.
How is Edgar different from wine dispensers that already exist in some restaurants?
They are simple refrigerated showcases, they do not garner complete satisfaction solution: the temperature is approximate, it is necessary to replace the bottles as they empty, and then wait for them to cool, … With Edgar, the whole chain of wine by the glass is modernized: forget the heavy and fragile bottles, each wine glass is served immediately to its ideal temperature, without interruption. Edgar is a time saver avoiding unnecessary manipulation: no need to cool the bottles, no need to get rid of them when they are empty. We create added value: staff working time is optimized, table turnover in restaurants is as well. And the device is aesthetic! All it takes is an electrical outlet to install it, it gives the consumer information about the wine he chooses and it gives the restaurant owner data on the number of glasses served, the level of his stocks, etc. Everyone wins.
What are the reactions of the professionals to whom you have shown the machine?
We had a lot of success at the last show of the food industry (SIAL), it went beyond our expectations. We grabbed a lot of interest and Les Galeries Lafayette, the biggest department store in France, for instance, asked to test a device in one of their restaurants. We have been selected by La FrenchTech for the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2019. And by the end of January, we will attend Sirha, the European restaurant trade show.
What is the business model of MYWAH?
This is the model of Nespresso and coffee capsules. We collect fees on the packs of wine we sell, since only our packs can be placed in the device. We will install Edgar on deposit, or we will rent it for a small fee, depending on the case. That’s why we are currently working on our wine list. This list must be as wide as possible, and well suited to our targets: restaurants of course, but also hotels, holiday clubs, campsites, wine bars, caterers, cruise lines, management clubs, co-working spaces, etc. Supermarkets are also interested in Edgar: they want to use it to create animation around their wine department. We will test this concept in two supermarkets soon.