A foolproof cellar. Interview with Roberto Biasini from the KABB restaurant in Rome
It is called KABB, the place that has given new life to a historical place of entrepreneurial Rome. We are talking about the facilities at number 9 in Via Mantova, where Peroni beer was once produced. KABB is a modern bistro that offers a simple and tasty catering formula, linked to the enhancement of local ingredients and with a wine list that stands out for the particularity of giving ample weight to the wines of Lazio, among others.
The restaurant is run by two couples (a brother and a sister and their respective spouses) who come from the world of logistics and goods handling. A world apparently light years away from that of catering, with which it actually shares some organizational and managerial aspects. Aspects on which very often many restaurant initiatives have "slipped" and continue to "slip", which, precisely due to not having taken care of organization and logistics, then found unpleasant surprises in the operating results.
For this reason we want to offer you the testimony of Roberto Biasini, today a sommelier at KABB, after a life spent controlling and managing incoming and outgoing flows of goods and products of various kinds. In other words, we were interested in understanding why a highly experienced and sensitive technician chose to adopt ENOWEB, considering it the ideal product to manage a cellar that isn’t just the cellar of a restaurant but the place where he has finally decided to realize his dream of always, that of having his own wine shop.
Doctor Biasini can introduce us to his restaurant. For example, the name is particular, where does it come from?
"Quite simply, it is the acronym of the four initials of the partners. Among other things, we are all relatives. K is my wife's initial. The A that of my brother-in-law and the double B are me and my sister. A particular name came out of it that has no meaning other than to emphasize that it is an activity with a decidedly familiar stamp."
The restaurant has been open for a few months and yours isn’t a family with roots in the restaurant world. Why this choice?
"In fact we have been open for just three months but it was a choice made with great enthusiasm and consequent to a long and careful reflection. We come from another world which is that of trade and the management of important goods warehouses. So we have, so to speak, brought great attention to the management aspects in our restaurant, while as regards the kitchen we rely on our chef Andrea Sarcona, a highly skilled professional who despite his young age can boast an important training experience at Casina Valadier (a well-known restaurant in Rome) and various experiences abroad to end up with a three-year period at the helm of an important restaurant in Sardinia. We have chosen it with enthusiasm because its cuisine is exactly in tune with our ideas and with the taste proposal we were looking for. So I can say that we were lucky to spot him almost immediately. "
Speaking of gastronomic ideas, how is your kitchen characterized?
“We cook both meat and fish. We are very attentive to the choice of raw material and pay a lot of attention to the selection of quality products. Precisely for this reason our recipes don’t involve too elaborate transformations to enhance the products we put on the plates as much as possible.
For the same reason we have chosen to resort to a rather limited number of suppliers and selectors of raw materials because first of all we want guarantees on the quality of what we bring to the table. "
Of course, if you have decided to buy ENOWEB, I guess you don't miss a discreetly stocked cellar?
"Absolutely yes. Indeed, initially the place was born as a wine shop. The initial idea was to offer a wine bar with cold cooking but then, also due to the structure of the restaurant itself and the needs of our customers, we were convinced to also offer catering.
Regarding the current numbers of our cellar, let's say that today we have about 1,500 bottles in stock distributed in 130 labels. These numbers are already quite important for what you can find around on average but ours is a rather young place and therefore this is to be considered our basic wine list. Over time, these numbers are certainly destined to grow. These are mainly Italian labels, distributed in all regions with a predominance of Trentino and Tuscany and with a certain attention to the production of Lazio that we want to enhance because it is full of very interesting products, even if little known. "
Basically how can we define the KABB formula?
“The restaurant offers a formula that we can define as a modern bistro. We start the service in the morning with the opening of the cafeteria for breakfast; in the late morning and pre-lunch we offer an aperitif service; then of course lunch (where we also welcome many employees who work nearby); then again the aperitifs and dinner. In practice, if you exclude a break after lunch, we are always open.
Much attention was paid to the furnishings because we wanted a solution that was welcoming and in line with the spirit of the place but at the same time modern. Of course we had our own ideas about it, but the very original result is the result of a comparison with a Marche-based consultancy firm specializing in the furnishing of catering establishments. Most of the furniture and furnishings were made by Italian artisans. "
How did you find out about ENOWEB and why did you decide to choose this solution?
"The acquaintance took place in the simplest way, starting from a search on the Net in which, however, I wanted to pay particular attention also to the logistics aspect. From a professional point of view, I come from that sector. I am an expert in issues related to logistics, goods handling and warehouse management and therefore I wanted a program that didn’t surprise me from this point of view for my bottles.
All I needed was a chat with the manager and the chance to view a demo of the program to convince me that ENOWEB was the right program. "
What balance can you make of these first months of using the program?
"At this time, having just started, we are not yet fully up and running with daily sales, but I was able to test the system, check how it works in inventory management with the very useful alert function. The convenience of the barcode label system. So I can say that I am certain that I have made the best choice and that I have a tool in hand that will not betray me when the sales numbers reach the expected levels.
I am also extremely satisfied with regard to the management of the wine list. Indeed, on this point we are about to introduce an important innovation represented by the coordination between ENOWEB and the wine list published on the pages of our site.
This means that when we load a new label in the warehouse, or when a bottle is no longer on sale, the wine list on our website will be automatically updated. "
So the aspects that most "intrigued" you about the program are those related to warehouse management?
"Absolutely yes. On the other hand, having worked all my life as head of the purchasing department, for me concepts such as 'minimum order', 'minimum stock', 'maximum stock' etc. they were all concepts with which I had to deal daily and with ENOWEB I found a software that gives me absolute guarantees in this sense. For example, another feature that I found very useful for my needs is the labeling of bottles with the ENOWEB code. I know that some of my colleagues do not use this service but I find it essential for the purposes of proper warehouse management.
In conclusion, I can say that in the warehouse management of my bottles I wanted to have the same level of safety that I had before with the other goods I dealt with on a daily basis. And I got what I wanted. "
How does digital paper work from your point of view? How is it welcomed by customers in the dining room?
“The complete files and the possibility of conducting in-depth searches in the same way that are used for searches on the Net are very useful supports in my work, but above all I have noticed that they are useful to customers. When you bring the digital wine list to the table it is certainly new for them because the customer can give space to his curiosity when choosing the wine. While before the approach with the traditional card was a bit flat and reverential. People opened it but in the end they just got us to suggest something. Now, thanks to the complete information in the technical data sheets, it becomes almost a game for them to go and look in the database, search, get curious and try new wines.
At the beginning I started with the idea of printing at least a dozen cards because I thought that I would find myself in front of some customers who preferred to choose this way, but then in the end I didn't print them anymore and really no one in the room asks me today."
The other aspect that I wanted to investigate with you concerns the fact that starting from your specific need, ENOWEB has been integrated with Aera, your checkout program. How did this need arise and what is, from your point of view, the main advantage you derive from the integration of the two programs?
“Yes it's true, this thing was born from a specific need of mine. For me it was essential to have the guarantee that the two management programs of the cellar and the cash desk were perfectly integrated. Of course I knew perfectly well that ENOWEB was already compatible with several other cash management systems, among the most widespread in Italy, but for my particular needs and also following the advice of a restaurateur friend, my choice for the cash management system fell on Aera. I pointed out these needs to the two companies (Aera and E.Goup, ed.) Who confronted each other and in a short time responded positively to my request. So today Aera has joined the large patrol of cash management that supports ENOWEB."(1)
How does the integration between the two programs work?
“Operationally, the thing is very simple. An icon appears on my checkout system that allows me two download options to the ENOWEB database: price list download and sold outlet.
The "list download" automatically acquires the inventory of ENOWEB bottles by importing it into the cash system. The other "unload sold" button, on the other hand, takes the reverse path and retrieves the information on the sold items from the checkout system to update the inventory of the warehouse on ENOWEB."
Do you do this on a daily basis?
Not always. Sometimes even several times a day. It also depends on what we can do during the day. For example, if about twenty bottles are sold at noon, then in that case I decide to update even in the middle of the day, to be sure that I always have the correspondence between the warehouse and the paper, otherwise I only carry out the operation at the end of the day. In any case, the whole operation really takes a few seconds."
In conclusion, what did ENOWEB entail for your work?
“I would say first of all serenity and the certainty of not being able to make mistakes. To see when any of the steps concerning the path of a bottle from registration, to sale, to final unloading is left to writing and human intervention, there is always a high margin of error. A mistake that if you are lucky you only discover with the inventory at the end of the year. "
1) In addition to the aforementioned Aera Enoweb is integrated with the following cash management software: Menu (Passepartout); Moito (Coris Tech); Scloby; iSelz (Serenissima Informatica); TcPos (Zucchetti); Zmenu (Zuchetti) and in a few weeks Bacco (Dylog);
Piergiovanni Mometto [www.mometto.net]