‘Best kept secret’ eyes on-trade growth

Bestway Aisles
Bestway has depots in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

BESTWAY, the family-owned wholesale business with depots across Scotland, is aiming for a significant expansion of its on-trade business through its Drinks Express delivered service.

Bestway expanded into Scotland in 2007 with the acquisition of Batleys, growing to nine depots in the course of the next seven years through the acquisitions of wholesale business Martex, Edinburgh wholesaler Bellevue and then, finally, a sizeable Glasgow depot from Sher Bros.

These varied acquisitions provided the company with a broad customer base that spanned public sector institutions, retailers and fast-food operators as well as the on-trade.
And with venues across the country reopening as restrictions ease, Bestway is keen to build the on-trade side of its business.

David Livingstone, regional operations manager at Bestway Wholesale, told SLTN that the company has emerged from the pandemic on a strong footing and is well-positioned to build the Drinks Express side of its business – the on-trade delivered drinks service – in the coming months.

Getting the message out about the company’s full range of services will be key, he said.
“I want to engage more with the customer base in the outlets, make them aware of who we are and what we do,” said Livingstone.

“I think there was a bit of a stigma around us, previously, that we were a cash and carry.
“And I want to blow that out of the water, because we’re not a cash and carry, we’re a professional delivered wholesaler.

“We’re not doing this out of the back of a wagon.

“We’ve got 18 and a half tonne multi-temperature vehicles, we’ve got professional drivers.
“We’re not trying to pile it high and sell it low.

“We’re trying to provide a reliable, consistent service and a great offer for our delivered customers.”

In addition to a fleet of delivery trucks, Drinks Express employs an eight-strong field sales team and a contact centre in Perth with a further ten advisors.

Customers can place their orders online through the Bestway website, using an app or over the phone via the contact centre, with next day delivery for any order placed before 3 pm.
And the business has strong coverage geographically, with depots in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

The result, said Livingstone, is a delivered service that should appeal to operators across the country.

“If you’re a licensed café on George Street then that’s a potential customer,” he said.
“If you’re multiple operators in Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews, we have depots in those locations.

“So it’s multiple operators, independents, it’s late-night venues as and when they come back, as well as your more traditional pubs and licensed restaurants.
“We’re probably one of the best-kept secrets about.”