At Cracco in Galleria ENOWEB wears a suit
A few days after the inauguration of Cracco in the Galleria, the food and wine hub conceived and wanted by Carlo Cracco in the "living room of Milan", the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, we interviewed Alex Bartoli, room manager and manager of the cellar.
On the opening night and in the following days everything went well and the normal tension of the days preceding the opening has now dissolved. A very small part of the merit for this success is also due to the program developed by E-Group, chosen for the management of the winery which must support four different proposals (takeaway cellar, gourmet restaurant, bistro, event center) each of which with different needs and details.
Alex Bartoli is the dining room manager and head of the cellar of the Cracco Restaurant in the Galleria. Born in 1993, he is a native of Imola. In his career he crossed paths with Carlo Cracco several times. After an already important experience in his hometown at the San Domenico restaurant, in 2013 he worked for a year in the Milanese restaurant of the chef from Vicenza. In 2014 he decided to further refine his knowledge of wine and to confront a reality that would make many of his older colleagues tremble in the wrists. We are talking about the Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence where Bartoli will stay for over three years. Here too Bartoli crosses his path, if we can say so, with that of Cracco, who spent one of his most intense training experiences at Pinchiorri in the 1990s.
"I chose Pinchiorri - Bartoli tells us - because to really learn and raise your knowledge about wine you need to be able to taste and at Enoteca Pinchiorri you have the opportunity to taste and uncork the most prestigious labels".
Thus we arrive at the beginning of 2017 when - perhaps it was written in his destiny - the call comes from Carlo Cracco who entrusts him, as the first sommelier, with the keys to his prestigious cellar and the management of his new gourmet restaurant, flagship of the Cracco in the Gallery where there is also a wine shop for the sale of prestigious labels, a bistro and, on the second floor with a splendid view of the Gallery, an environment intended for hosting events and private parties.
It was Bartoli who chose EnoWeb as the software for the management of the cellar, the restaurant, the bistro and the events sector, thus adding the name of E-Group to the most important and prestigious food and wine opening of 2018 in Milan. We heard it in a rare moment of tranquility in the intense days that followed after the opening, to let us tell you something more about Cracco in Galleria, about the role - really important - that wine has in the overall offer to customers and also, why not? How our software performed in the face of such a complex and demanding challenge.
How did Alex Bartoli get to know ENOWEB?
“Simply by surfing the net, starting from a normal search for an IT solution that could help me manage the cellar. Right from the start (we are talking about a year and a half ago when I was still working in Enoteca Pinchiorri) I was struck by the fact that this program seemed designed to meet the needs of those who have the responsibility of managing a complex winery. After doing an extensive search of loading and unloading programs and computerization of everything related to the backstage of the winery management, I had identified EnoWeb and have been following its various updates ever since.
In my previous position, however, it wasn’t up to me to make a decision in this sense and the managers chose to take other paths. Today, however, at Cracco in Galleria I am responsible for the cellar but also the director of the structure. Having therefore the possibility to decide and seeing that we are starting from scratch, I said to myself why not? Why not try this solution that had so interested me at the time?
And this is where my relationship with the E-Group began. The manager, engineer Chinchio, came to us and illustrated the program in detail with all the functions, the wine coding, the functioning of the database, the loading and unloading of the bottles with the details of all the reasons, the generation of the digital wine list on tablet and paper wine list, in short, we made a 360 ° overview that definitely convinced me in my choice. "
I guess the program was extensively tested before it opened. How long have you been using it?
"Yes, of course. In fact, we have been using it for a few months, as soon as the inventory of the cellar with all the wines and references has been completed. In practice, the program has already been helping us in the daily management of the cellar for six months ”.
So for six months you have also updated the wine list, how often? And in what ways do you propose it to customers, digital or paper?
“We use both. In the sense that we offer the customer the traditional menu because our customers still prefer to be able to browse and touch the wine list with their own hands. Especially for important wineries like ours, shape matters. However, internally, to keep inventory under control, both I and my collaborators who deal with the sommelier use the tablet ".
What are the size and value of your cellar?
“We are talking about important numbers. We are around one thousand and five hundred references and about seven thousand bottles. In part inherited from the cellar of the restaurant in via Victor Hugo (the historic Milanese headquarters of the Cracco restaurant, ed) but in large part the result of intense work in recent months.
Since I arrived, the cellar has practically doubled both in quantity and quality. We wanted to focus a lot on France by acquiring many transalpine references. For example, the great domaine of Burgundy and Bordeaux that arrived here "as if it were raining". It was really exciting ... Of course, all of our bottles can be consumed in the restaurant but also purchased in the wine shop where they are available for take away ".
Returning to the topic of our conversation, that is ENOWEB, can you tell us in what were you most impressed by the program? Also in relation to your previous experiences?
"The first thing that immediately catches the eye is the vastness and accuracy of the wine database. All already coded and divided by region, category, producer ... a fact that is by no means taken for granted because in any other warehouse program it is the customer who must register the bottles and encode the wines while here you will find all the basic information already loaded, verified and complete. You just need a click to recall them when you need them.
The second important thing is the fact that in a few seconds you can make an updated digital download of the warehouse with the certainty that your work will not be lost because EnoWeb in any case provides to secure your data with daily backups.
Then there is the fact of having all stocks under control in real time with a list of all references and their respective bottles present. This means that there is no longer any need to do the inventory at the end of the year or every six months. Here too, if you need the inventory, a couple of clicks are enough and the complete and updated list of stocks appears in a few moments.
The other very nice thing that perhaps produces the greatest satisfaction for us sommeliers is the ease with which the wine list is generated. Here, too, a few clicks and a few seconds of waiting are enough to generate a printable paper in Word format or that can be consulted directly on the tablet. All this allows us to save hours and hours of work that we can now devote to other aspects of our work, because seeing the warehouse is an important thing but often to keep it updated you are forced to neglect the most interesting parts of your profession.
The relationship with the customer also benefits from this because the wine list is our working tool, the means through which the restaurant relates to the customer is our business card and the fact of being able to present an up-to-date menu and well laid out and above all correct is important for our image. Because another thing that I noticed with pleasure is the fact that the texts of the technical data sheets are perfectly cured: hyphens, accents, uppercase and lowercase letters ... everything is dealt with in detail and this gives you greater confidence in relating with the customer and also saves you further time because you do not have to worry about correcting the texts on the wine list every time ".
After the program was installed, was it possible to make any special parameterizations?
"Yes. In fact, this is another point in favor of EnoWeb, the program is so flexible that it often allows us to meet requests for specific improvements without adding to the cost. For example, we asked for the redefinition of several functions. In particular, the creation of a button to print the daily discharges on paper. This has allowed us to easily produce prints that are used for management, accounting and for internal use in general.
Other improvements that we have developed together have concerned the checkout function. Since here in the Gallery we will have more stores with more cash points that refer to different shopping centers (the wine shop, the restaurant, the bistro, etc.) I asked that each cash desk in each store have a personalized price list so that we can see both the coding of the wine with the complete and correct description of the product with all the vintages of the wines and the correct selling price. This functionality is important since the same product managed in a single warehouse will however be downloaded and sold with different prices depending on where the sale takes place, because obviously there will be a price list for the takeaway wine shop, a restaurant price list, one of the bistro and another for the sale of bottles in the event room. And the positive thing is that this re-parameterization was also implemented simultaneously by Zucchetti in the ZMENU management software, since the two programs are 100% compatible and integrated. "
So EnoWeb has been used by your collaborators for a long time, despite the very recent opening of the restaurant, what are the impressions and comments you received from them?
“Yes, the software is used daily by all of us and for now the impressions are really positive. Every evening at the end of each service we do the unloading and everything returns to perfection. Furthermore, I haven’t encountered any difficulties on the part of all my collaborators. The program is really intuitive. It is something that seems obvious but it’s not always like this. From the moment a bottle arrives and is loaded to when it comes out, it is always possible for each of us to have the whole process under control. Not to mention the analysis of sales data that with EnoWeb it is possible to conduct in a truly complete way. You can cross the types of products sold, with the checkout center, with the time (day and hour) of sale and this allows us to have the sales timing perfectly under control and to think more effectively even on purchases. "
At the end of our conversation, I ask you for your overall evaluation of the program.
“The most positive thing that I still want to underline is the fact that we have different stores and with a single program we are able to manage the warehouse and keep under control all the different situations that occur. Being able to keep under control, in such a simple way, what happens in the wine shop, in the gourmet restaurant, in the bistro or in the event room (because the events sector also has its own separate cash desk) all with a single program and with a few steps, it also helps me a lot to understand how the different sectors are going and to identify any critical issues.
In conclusion, I would like to say that it is a truly complete program because it works perfectly in all our different realities. So it is a product that in my opinion can be suitable for a wine shop, a gourmet restaurant or a more informal restaurant. In all these cases, the program will adapt perfectly to such different needs as it has happened to us. "
Piergiovanni Mometto [www.mometto.net]
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