Yalumba; Barossa Wine Show

Samuel Smith & Son lends a hand to struggling venues

May 18, 2020
By Alana House

Samuel Smith & Son is calling on hospitality customers to get in touch during COVID-19 restrictions if they need help.

The family-owned distribution company said it is committed to supporting the industry in making a strong and sustainable recovery.

Among the brands in its portfolio are Yalumba, Brokenwood, Jansz, Jim Barry, Moo Brew and Wirra Wirra.

Paul Midolo

Paul Midolo, Director – Strategy & Trading (above), said whether a venue is currently trading with takeaway only or waiting to reopen, Samuel Smith & Son is there to help.

The 30-year industry veteran revealed to Drinks Trade how the company is reaching out.

How is Samuel Smith & Son staying connected with the hospitality industry during COVID-19 shutdown?

“Our teams have been in continual contact with all of our partners during this difficult time. Whether it has been to lend a sympathetic ear or making sure they’ve had something good in the house to drink, our business has always been about relationships.”

What should your trading partners do if they need a helping hand?

“Please reach out to any of our team to help. We understand that no two venues are the same and want to make sure we are working with you on the right program for your venue. Many of these venues are family owned just like us so for us it’s in our DNA to provide help and support, from our family to yours.

How are your trading partners handling the hospitality crisis?

“It’s been a tough time for anyone connected to the hospitality business. Whether you are a venue owner, hospitality worker, supplier or anyone else connected to the industry, we’ve all felt the impact of this virus as one. If there’s one thing we know about hospitality it is that we’re a resilient bunch of people and we will get through this together. It might look a little bit different, but we’re sure that the industry will weather this storm.”

Are there any other initiatives you are working on with the hospitality industry?

“There are a number of initiatives we are currently undertaking in order to support our friends and colleagues in the industry. These range from revenue generation support to the provision of promotional mechanics, list printing and design and access to our category insights program.

“We understand that there are a lot of moving parts to how venues are trying to re-open and want to make sure that our initiatives have the flexibility in order to support that.”

How will you be helping your partners build their business back up once restrictions are over?

“As a family business ourselves we have always been about building long-term partnerships, through better or worse. This is one of the most challenging times any of us have experienced, but know the team at Samuel Smith & Son and Negociants Australia are here to support them when they are ready to chat. Phone, email, face to face or over Skype/Zoom/Facetime … We are ready to talk when you are.”

Have you been inspired by how people are helping each other during this time?

“It’s amazing how many people have been able to pivot and change their business model in a very short space of time. Personally, I’ve never eaten so well at home. Takeaway, home delivery (direct from the venue), produce boxes, cook at home meals; there’s a plethora of ways that we can all continue to support our hospo mates.

“I’ve also loved seeing the initiatives that individual venues have undertaken in order to support those who are doing it tough. This ranges from the provision of free meals to ensuring that any available hours are going to staff who are not able to access government support.

“Hospitality has always been about family, and family looks after family, no matter what.

“If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Samuel Smith & Son or Negociants Australia representative.”

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