With an increased focus on workplace design and minimizing touchpoints, the opportunity for operators to replace bottled water with point of use systems has never been better. Marco Beverage Systems, a 40-year-old company from Dublin, Ireland, has rolled out an innovative little water system called FRIIA, sure to be a hit with operators who appreciate giant sized rentals.
“FRIIA commands the type of rentals that are typically seen with premium countertop ice machines, another favorite of high end, design-oriented clients,” said Matt Dudley, North American Sales Director at Marco Beverage Systems.
New to the U.S Market
FRIIA was introduced to the U.S. market in March. “Not ideal timing,” notes Dudley, “but as time goes on, it is clear that the market for FRIIA and the opportunity for operators is enormous.”
Highly regarded for decades in the tea and specialty coffee business worldwide, Marco Beverage System’s newest release, FRIIA, is a stylish take on point of use water. FRIIA offers multiple formats - hot/cold/sparking – with all the key components under the counter. While the existing models require a simple, single touch of a button, a new touch free version will be available in early 2021. This will eliminate any hygiene concerns as it completely removes the single customer touchpoint.
FRIIA is yet another Marco Beverage Systems product with the defining characteristics of sleek design, precision control and energy-efficiency. The FRIIA delivery system, a glistening font with a minimal footprint as it emerges from a countertop, is irresistible to end users, facility managers and especially office designers, who love the sleek, brushed metal finish and premium LED feature.
Irresistible seems to be the right word to describe the effect of FRIIA on clients. “We are in the process of installing 21 FRIIA units in a New York office,” said Dudley. “The office designer saw it, recognized that it was sleek, space saving and eco-friendly. That was it. The deal was made. We are increasingly seeing this reaction,” he added.
Focused on Operators
While FRIIA has generated significant interest from designers, Dudley said that his focus is on developing operator relationships. “The fact that designers are interested in FRIIA creates an opportunity for operators who are working with us. We can assign those leads to operators which can open the door to not only FRIIA placements, plus some excellent OCS, vending and micro market opportunities,” he explained.
According to Dudley, operators who place FRIIA will also enjoy a serious level of client commitment. “FRIIA is a higher end system and clients will expect to sign an agreement that covers FRIIA and the other services that an operator is providing,” said Dudley. “It’s an appropriate fringe benefit of operating high-quality equipment that is in demand.”
An Eco-Friendly Solution
Drinking water options for the workplace have changed dramatically in the past decade, as clients are rejecting plastic bottles, while frowning on touch points and the carbon footprint associated with 5-gallon water bottle delivery. By contrast, FRIIA offers an eco-friendly solution. In February of this year, FRIIA won the “Energy Efficiency Innovation” award at Food & Bev Live 2020.
FRIIA’s undercounter chiller incorporates aluminum block technology to chill incoming water by an average of 18˚F and the boiler contains a vacuum insulated tank to ensure temperature accuracy and energy-efficiency. FRIIA is 23% more energy-efficient than leading competitors.
Performance and style - without bells and whistles
There is also a new breed of water machines, featuring flavors and supplements. “Most high-end offices just don’t go for the bells and whistles, the trendy, boxy, water machines,” said Dudley. “Instead, they want pure drinking water from a stylish format, a classic, clean, uncluttered, minimal counter aesthetic that reflects the look of their office and their corporate culture. For those clients, FRIIA is the answer.”
Because water quality varies from city to city, there is no one recommended filter system for FRIIA. “This is an advantage for operators,” said Dudley. “Clients have preferences – some want RO, some want carbon filters. We are happy to provide guidance, but with FRIIA, operators have the option to offer whatever brand they choose and of course, filters create an added revenue opportunity.”
Dudley added that he recommends two separate filters – a taste and odor filter for the cold/sparkling side, plus a dedicated filter for the hot water boiler that will address scale buildup and other issues associated with hot water.
Committed to Support
“Installation is relatively simple, and we are available to deliver support, every step of the way,” said Dudley. “During more normal times, Marco offers live, in-person training. We have now moved our training sessions to the virtual world utilizing Zoom, MS Teams, YouTube videos and other means of digital support.”
“The feedback from our customers regarding training has been so positive,” explained Dudley, “We will certainly make this type of support available for the long term.”
Dedicated to Delivering a Positive Experience
“Because we don’t yet have the brand recognition that some of our competitors enjoy, we recognize what we need to accomplish to succeed with operators,” said Dudley. “Every experience that operators and end users have with Marco Beverage Systems must be a positive experience. Our team is dedicated to make that happen.”
Matt Dudley encourages operators to call him directly to learn more about FRIIA and to explore opportunities that currently exist. By Phone - 704.492.6601 By email - email@example.com
Industry consultant Bob Tullio (www.tullioB2B.com) is a content specialist who advises operators in the convenience services industry on how to build a successful business from the ground up. In July, Tullio launched a You Tube Channel, b2b Perspective, designed to “elevate your business in 2 minutes” and is currently developing an online course, “Leverage the power of LinkedIn to grow your business.”
As he is a recognized industry expert in business development and sales, NAMA hired him to write and narrate the new online course, “Selling Convenience Services,” which is now available. Use discount code B2B10 for an instant discount and for free access to upcoming Q & A Webinars from Tullio in the coming months. Here is a free sample of the course.