With healthy hydration and sustainability as part of the brief, Smart Soda UK has recently installed a purpose-designed self-serve multi-drinks bridge tower dispensing system for Apollo Management International LLP at its new premises at No1 Soho Place, London.
Tricon Foodservice Consultants was appointed as sub-consultants by the project management team at Gensler, the architects, with a brief to deliver a system that provided a free-issue self-serve hydration solution plus a wide range of non- and low-sugar beverages. At the same time, they were looking to remove all plastic waste from the premises.
“Apollo had experience of self-serve multi-drinks systems in its New York offices, but those mainly featured branded sugary sodas, and the client asked us to find a supplier which could meet the brief, both for heathier drinks and a more environmentally friendly solution,” says Tricon Foodservice Consultants Project Director Chantal Bourquin-Quéva. “We found Smart Soda UK, which was able to offer more than just plain water and already provided a variety of dispense solutions. We then began the process of designing something special which suited the unique needs of the client and the aesthetics of the building.
“Sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do, and we are always looking to implement systems where we can use reusable products and avoid disposables. The development of the bridge tower self-serve dispensing system has been a complete success. We work with architects and interior designers, so the look and feel of the Smart Soda bridge tower drinks system is hugely important. Alongside the benefits of healthy drinks and sustainability gains, all parties have been impressed by the ease of installation – without too much disruption – and how flexible this solution can be, so we will be recommending similar solutions to other clients in the future.”
Tricon was also scoped with carrying out the tender process to bring a caterer for the site on board, and B-Corp certified Houston and Hawkes was selected.
Saving space and time
“We look after all of Apollo’s catering and hospitality needs from the restaurant to events, and that averages around 350 people a day,” says Houston and Hawkes general manager on site, Andre Welman.
“The bridge tower saves space and time. In respect of space-saving, we don’t need to store cans and bottles, or have rows of refrigerators, and we don’t have to manage lots of deliveries. Removing single-use plastic from the site, also saves the time which would otherwise be devoted to separating and storing waste for collection for recycling.
“With so many people using the system every day, the choice and variety of drinks has proved popular, and at lunchtimes almost everyone who comes through the door is using it. On our side, we also appreciate that the system is easy to clean and maintain.
“As a B-Corp business, genuine sustainability gains are hugely important to Houston and Hawkes, so the bridge tower system is a perfect fit for us. Eradicating single-use plastic, cutting energy use for refrigeration, and reducing the number of deliveries to the site all make a positive and measurable contribution.”
Teamwork delivers first in Europe dispense solution
The Smart Soda bridge tower incorporates 10 Multiplex® CRAFTtaps. Made from 100% stainless steel, each streamline post-mix valve tap delivers a durable and hygienic – easy-to-clean – dispense solution which ensures drinks are served at a consistent cold temperature and a consistent taste every time.
The development of the bridge tower was down to successful teamwork, involving Tricon Foodservice Consultants senior design consultant Stuart Wilcox, working with cooling and dispense equipment specialists Multiplex Welbilt Halesowen, and Italian draft dispensing system specialists Global Fountain.
“This is the first, and only, dispensing unit of its type in Europe,” says Global Fountain’s Massimo Todeshini. “It was great to have the opportunity to work on the development of a bespoke unit which we know is operating perfectly and has been so well received. Despite the special nature of the unit, requiring the fitting of a lot of technology into such a small space, from the initial request to installation, took only eight weeks.”
Staff wellbeing and carbon footprint reduction
Smart Soda is the world’s first water company to offer functional pH-enhanced, vitamin-infused sodas and flavoured waters – crafted with alkaline water, and made with only reduced British beet sugar – or no sugar at all – via a post mix dispenser.
“We were chosen for this project as Smart Soda is well known for helping companies demonstrate that they care about staff wellbeing through the provision of unlimited, healthy and sustainable drinks,” says Smart Soda UK Operations Director Ian Webb.
“Smart Soda is all about the consistent quality and taste of the drinks, hence we source the best equipment to deliver our beverages to the highest standard. Our dispense solutions are delivered using a bag-in-box system – so the drinks are delivered in recyclable cardboard boxes. Bag-in-box reduces carbon footprint by taking up less space and reducing weight in the supply chain.
“In this way, Smart Soda eliminates the creation, distribution, storage, and waste disposal of lorry loads of plastic bottles and cans. Each 5 litre bag-in-box drinks removes 120 (330ml) cans or 80 (500ml) bottles from the distribution chain.
“Our client is delighted that the bridge tower perfectly delivers on the brief to dispense a range of low- and no-sugar drinks, while at the same time eradicating plastic waste and reducing the client’s carbon footprint. In addition, Gensler, the architect for No1 Soho Place is pleased with the way that the unit complements the carefully designed aesthetics.”