Gilano Coffee adds a touch of class to the hotel industry

Gilano Coffee Director Alan Perrins says that as people travel the globe, they encounter different perceptions of the common coffee cart. “Some believe it’s a New York street vendor, others think it’s a trolley that runs around hospitals and offices, and some think it’s a motorised caravan,” he says. “But our interpretation of a coffee cart is Gilano – a stylish and simplistic platform to serve quality coffee in either indoor or outdoor applications.” For the past 10 years, Gilano has supplied coffee carts to major Australian roasters, events and exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney. But after modifying and improving his product, Perrins says he has found a new niche that’s set to change the perception of hotel coffee. “There hasn’t been anything on the market suitable to meet the look, feel, and cost demands that the Australian and international Horeca (hotel, restaurant and catering) industry requires to serve quality coffee – until now,” says Perrins. He says business travellers would be all too familiar with the dilemmas of sourcing quality coffee at hotels. In many cases, customers face a line-up in the lobby. Or, once checked out, they spend time loitering in the lobby while they wait for their transfer to the airport. “Too often, hotels allow customers to walk out to the streets in search of a café. Sometimes they invest in establishing a café infrastructure that’s significantly expensive. But what if they started to encourage customers to stay on the property and be served Italian espresso from a cost-effective coffee cart that take up no more than two metres of space?” Over time, Perrins says there has been an increased understanding that a quality coffee offering in a lobby space adds a new level of experience for guests, and can be an added revenue source to any business. Today, more than ever, Perrins says consumers want to be served a coffee in line with what is expected in a sophisticated market, regardless of location. “A traditional coffee offerings at hotels was once just a pour over, or other filter-style options. Perhaps 10 years ago it was relevant, but it’s not now. Today, most markets see Italian espresso as the benchmark. Businesses need to look at a point of difference to compete, and serving quality Italian espresso is what’s going to be that difference,” he says. What’s more, Perrins says modern business travellers prefer to buy a product from a venue that is aesthetically pleasing. “Customers don’t want to be served a quality coffee off a collapsible table, push cart or bench. They want a product from a platform that embraces class and quality to match their preference in coffee. No one has seriously addressed the issue of what to place a machine on without spending large sums of money establishing a café space. That’s where we have a solution. Gilano has designed a product that not only looks elegant and stylish, but addresses the logistical challenges many hotels face,” says Perrins. Gilano’s coffee carts feature an Italian-inspired design, with the shape and contour similar to an Italian automobile: high-end, prestigious and lightweight. An individual cart measures 182 centimetres in length, 72 centimetres in width, 92 centimetres in height, and weighs approximately 65 kilograms. The platform is large enough to accommodate a commercial two-group espresso machine and grinder with a service area, yet its slim line physique means the carts can fit in any standard doorway. Each cart comes with two built-in sinks, an on-demand hot water wash system, and low energy pump. The under-bar area is finished in a smooth, washable fibreglass finish, that can be used for refrigeration, and dry storage, with provision for water and waste. The cart is easy to manoeuvre thanks to its large wheels and castors. The ­non-marking tyres will protect any floor surface, and the built-in brakes can lock into position to guarantee optimum safety. Each cart is manufactured from reinforced fibreglass, and finished in a high-gloss gel coat, which is durable, fully washable and available in a range of designer colours to coordinate with a business’s décor and branding. “The lightweight design means that the carts are easily transferable from a hotel lobby to a restaurant for the morning breakfast service, conference rooms during the day, and can even double as a wet bar at the night,” Perrins says. “Most importantly, the coffee cart can function independently of any other infrastructure. We’ve brought the carts back into their purest form, and what we’ve produced is high-end equipment that’s a naked platform to help deliver the best service and product possible.” Gilano’s coffee carts are hand made and manufactured in Melbourne, and will remain Australian-produced. “This decision is important for quality control to meet our bench marks and the very high Australian Food Safety Standards, which we want to maintain. Because the carts are lightweight, it also means shipping costs are reduced,” says Perrins. “The world is our limit.” Two prestigious five-star hotels in Melbourne have already seen the potential in Gilano’s coffee carts, purchasing the carts for their lobbies. Now, Perrins says he’s ready to take his product beyond Australia’s shores to offer the international Horeca industry the same opportunity. “The hotel uptake and interest is validation to us that our products are the right fit for the Horeca market,” says Perrins. “I expect to see growth for this product in the Asian and North American markets where filter coffee has been their mainstay for many years, but is changing with the world’s evolving palates. Italian espresso is travelling and spreading around the world just as much as people are these days.”

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