Nikki Welch is the founder of Quenchable, an app-based training tool designed for front-of-house staff. Quenchable won the Scottish Edge Wild Card category in December 2018 and the Herald Digital Award for Education and Learning in 2019.
Nikki's extensive experience in the wine industry inspired her first start-up, the WineTubeMap. "I realised that there was a difference between how people talked about wine and how they drank it. I started playing with flavour maps and visual guides to see if I could address that gap." The approach proved successful and was rolled out to create the WhiskyTubeMap as well as apps, books and events.
Studying for a Masters in Gastronomy at QMU broadened Nikki's knowledge of the food sector. It soon became clear that there was a commercial opportunity to transfer the learning and approach that created the TubeMaps and apply them to the hospitality sector to deliver better service while improving the conditions and status of employees, particularly front-of-house staff.
"We want to create a win-win-win, increasing staff wellbeing, customer satisfaction and margin"
Quenchable started in May 2018. "Our first product is an interactive wine training app that improves the confidence and competence of front-of-house staff 'drop by drop'." By providing training digitally, Quenchable overcomes a number of fundamental barriers and enables businesses to offer training to all members of staff, increasing inclusion and skill-building for everyone. Initially the focus is on wine in the UK market which will be followed by brand extensions into whisky and beer and working with clients in Asia and the US too.
The app has been prototyped, tested at a number of stages and is now live in the app store and on site with founder clients.
"Impact is seen within 10-14 days, users report increased confidence with their customers and are able to provide better service."
Going forward, the strategy remains to continue to analyse user behaviour to develop the app so it delivers impact for customers.