Wednesday 20th May 2020
Veeno gives away almost £50,000 of wine and vouchers to NHS staff: Italian wine bar business Veeno has given away almost £50,000 worth of wine and vouchers to NHS workers. The company marked International Nurses Day last week by inviting NHS staff to sign up for the chance to win a bottle of wine. More than 3,000 workers did so with Veeno giving a bottle of wine to the first 500 that signed up. But the company also decided to thank all the NHS workers that signed up and didn’t win a bottle by offering them a voucher to the value of £15 to spend on its online store or in a Veeno outlet when they reopen. Owner and director Rodrigue Trouillet told Propel: “We received many emails thanking us for this initiative but we wanted to do something modest to recognise everything they are doing.” 
Thursday 9th April 2020
Veeno to donate 10% of profit from every online wine sale to NHS: Italian wine bar business Veeno is donating 10% of profit from every online wine sale to the NHS. The company has also encouraged its furloughed staff to sign up as volunteers to help those on the front line. Veeno stated: “The NHS has been at the forefront of this battle and we wanted to show our support and appreciation.” Last week, owner and director Rodrigue Trouillet told Propel its staff will be key in the company’s attempts to regain the momentum it had before the coronavirus crisis. Trouillet acquired the company out of administration a year ago and said “real progress” was being made before the country was locked down.
Wednesday 1st April 2020
Veeno – keeping staff key to regaining momentum: Rodrigue Trouillet, owner and director of Italian wine bar business Veeno, has told Propel staff will be key in the company’s attempts to regain the momentum it had before the coronavirus crisis. Trouillet acquired the company out of administration a year ago and said “real progress” was being made before the country was locked down. Like-for-like sales were up 11% in 2019 and Trouillet said it had seen a great start to 2020, with like-for-likes increasing 25% in January and 29% in February. Veeno was still seeing double-digit like-for-like growth in March until the government told people to avoid pubs, bars and restaurants as the coronavirus crisis accelerated. Veeno has consolidated its estate in the past year and now has eight sites, including a franchised outlet in Reading. However, Trouillet revealed the company had been talking to potential franchisees before the coronavirus outbreak and those talks would restart when the crisis ended. He said: “We may have had to shut our wine bars but we have a concept that works and that will really help us when we reopen. At the moment we’re pushing online sales and it’s going well. We have furloughed all our staff because we want to make sure we keep them. They have been terrific and one of the main reasons we’ve been so successful in the past 12 months. Of course I understand businesses need to preserve cash but our people will be key to helping us re-establish our momentum when all this passes. We were getting some really good reviews, particularly around customer service. Even now we’re getting a lot of messages from people saying how much they miss us. We look forward to seeing them again – hopefully soon.” Trouillet said expansion, which he stressed “wouldn’t happen straight away” after restrictions were lifted, would focus on franchising, which was a “win-win situation all round”. He added: “Our model means the capital investment is quite low. We’ve had about 100 expressions of interest in the past four or five months – we have to find the right profile. We’ll use Reading as a blueprint but franchisees have to understand it’s not a money-making machine straight away – it takes a lot of hard work. We need to be realistic about the type of place we look at and find the right balance between what’s a reasonable-sized site but avoiding high rents and business rates. We need to be smart about it but our message is clear – we are here to stay, thrive and expand.”