Globetrotting with Safetray

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Our Safetrays are off on tour without us, and heading to lots of new and exotic places. This month we've had trays winging their way to Italy, Armenia, Russia, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Austria and all over Germany.

Our new Austrian distributor is Theodor R. Rist Company, and you can order from them on +43 (0)166 797 710 or visit their website at www.rist.at

Details of more distributors in all corners of the globe will be coming soon, so make sure you check back for more details.

One more day to go at Gulfood

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Tomorrow is Safetray's last day at Gulfood, stand E3-33 in hall 3, so make sure you come along and say hello. If you'd like to arrange a meeting, call us on +44 7983 539370 or email info@safetrayproducts.com. Follow along with us on Twitter - look out for the hashtags #safetrayontour and #ivegotthewholeworldonmytray - or like us on Facebook for all the latest news and events.

Posted on February 27, 2013 .

Safetray CEO's Brazilian trade mission

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CEO Alison Grieve travelled to Brazil last year with a Santander trade mission, where she explored this rapidly-growing market and met with potential customers and contacts. Santander recently featured her on their Breakthrough Programme's website here. Read the full story below.


Brazil Trade Mission: Safetray
For the inventor and manufacturer of the patented Safetray, gaining first-hand market intelligence on Brazil was invaluable.

As inventor of the patented Safetray – a tray that stays soundly and helpfully attached to the server’s hand, thanks to a retractable clip on the underside – Alison Grieve is continually looking for new markets. Having spent two years developing her product and establishing it in the US, the Middle East and Australia, Alison, who is also the company’s CEO, wanted to secure the future of her business and build on some important early gains. “We had some significant wins,” she says. “We sold a license to San Jamar, a leading US food service business, to manufacture and sell the Safetray in the US and Canada. For all other territories, we manufacture and distribute the product ourselves from the factory in Scotland. But the San Jamar license enhances credibility and provides another revenue stream.”

While South America and Brazil in particular had not featured on her early business plans, Alison still recognised the possibilities they offered. The market has similarities to the Middle East, where Safetray has made significant inroads into the hotel and hospitality sector. “We had also just gone through an exercise to establish patents in different countries, including Brazil,” she says. “We knew there were massive opportunities in South America, but had no real idea how you would go about making a first approach into a market like Brazil.”

Networking

For Alison, everything about the Breakthrough trade mission to Brazil was helpful. Networking with entrepreneurs from the other companies on the trip meant delegates could exchange notes on their experiences. “The group was completely varied,” says Alison. “A lot of the companies were more developed than ours and were at a later stage than us. That in itself was inspiring.”

“We now have a really good understanding of Brazil and what we would need to do to make it work. We have made contacts there and so we are significantly ahead.” Alison Grieve, CEO Safetray Products Ltd.

While in Brazil, the various experts she met – tax accountants, lawyers and logistics specialists – were a source of invaluable market intelligence. “You hear a lot about the potential of Brazil,” she says. “Sometimes the best learning you can have is actually not to commercialise in a country. You do have to look at the complexities and work out whether you have the resources to penetrate a market like Brazil.”

Potential buyers

Safetray attracted interest from the Marriott, where delegates were staying in Rio de Janeiro, as well as potential buyers they met in São Paulo. “It is a question of understanding how we might fulfil those orders,” says Alison. “The import taxation is just so high that it might make the product price disproportionately high. But at least we know that there is interest, and we know there are opportunities.”

Brazil itself may not be a realistic short-term prospect for Safetray, but exporting to South America is definitely part of Alison’s plan for the next three years. It could be that the company will work to establish itself in neighbouring countries and export via those.

Alison believes export success must be grounded in thorough research. “I think you have to be quite careful as a small company,” she says. “We now have a really good understanding of Brazil and what we would need to do to make it work. We have made contacts there and so we are significantly ahead. We haven’t entered any overseas market without visiting, attending trade shows and putting considerable groundwork and research into that effort. With a little entrepreneurial skill and problem solving, we should get over the hurdles.”

Posted on February 19, 2013 .

Safetray hits Gulfood

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The next stop of Safetray on Tour is Gulfood, where you'll find us in Hall 3 on stand E3-33, 25-28 February, Dubai World Trade Centre.

If you want to see the Safetrays in action in the UAE, iconic beachside hotspot Barasti at the Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina is top of the list.

To order Safetrays, contact Truebell on +971 653 4211 or visit the website here.

 

Posted on January 31, 2013 .

Feel the Burns

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"Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!"

It's Burns Night, when we celebrate the Bard by eating haggis and raising a glass of whisky in toast to Scots everywhere. Being a Scottish inventor and manufacturer, our CEO Alison Grieve couldn't resist catching our national poet on her Safetray when she saw him in Treasury Gardens, Melbourne.

Loyal Scots (and everyone else) in Melbourne can buy their Safetrays from Chef 's Hat, tel: +61 (0) 396 821 4418 or order online here.

Those closer to home can order from Bunzl Lockhart, tel: +44 (0) 370 167 8678 or visit the website here or from FH Stores, tel:+44 (0) 146 322 2765 or visit their website here.

Posted on January 25, 2013 .

The best Dubai hotels choose Safetray

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Tripadvisor has just announced their Traveller's Choice 2013 top 25 hotels in the United Arab Emirates, and Safetray is already in five of them, and in a futher five sister hotels of those selected. Come and see us at Gulfood on 25-28 February, Hall 3, stand E3-33, to find out why.

See the final list here, and get your Gulfood tickets here.

If you'd like to organise a meeting in advance of the show, contact Anna Wilkie on +44 (0) 798 353 9367 or email aw@safetrayproducts.com. To order today in the UAE, call our distributor Truebell on +971 653 4211.

Posted on January 17, 2013 .

Safetray CEO to speak at Scottish International Trade Network event

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Safetray CEO Alison Grieve will be speaking at the Scottish International Trade Network (SITNet) event on Thursday 24th January.

The focus of the evening's talks will be on licensing in the USA, with Alison speaking about negotiating Safetray's licensing agreement with San Jamar Chef Revival. Alison invented the Safetray after witnessing a tray laden with champagne toppling over at an important function and recognising that this was an embarrassing, costly and potentially dangerous situation. Since its invention in 2009, the Safetray has been enthusiastically welcomed by the hospitality industry around the world.

Ian Murphy, Director, Innovi Business Growth will speak about licensing as a route to international markets.

Ian has 27 years’ experience of successfully negotiating licences for IP in a number of fields including aircraft cockpit displays, genetics, musical instruments, silicon chips and power generators. Ian provides advice and support to companies who wish to explore licensing as a potential route to international markets. Ian will share some key lessons based on his experience.
http://innovibusinessgrowth.co.uk/

Event: Licensing as a route to market - Focus on the USA
Date: Thursday 24th January 2013, 18.00-20.00 hours
Topic: HSBC, 76 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EL

Tickets are available here

Posted on January 14, 2013 .

New year, new horizons

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Team Safetray are off again around the world to see our Safetrays in action, reunite with our favourite customers and to meet plenty more. In the next couple of months, we'll be visiting the following shows:

SIRHA, 26-30 January, Eurexpo Lyon, France

NAFEM, 7-9 February, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, USA

Gulfood, 25-28 February, Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE

Internorga, 8-13 March, Congress Center Hamburg, Germany

Picture credit here

Posted on January 10, 2013 .

Safetray CEO interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland

CEO Alison Grieve was interviewed by Gillian Marles on BBC Radio Scotland's Business Scotland programme this weekend. Hear the full programme here or read the full transcript below.

Gillian Marles, voice over:  Scotland has a great history of invention. If it wasn’t for us, there wouldn’t be TV, colour photography, grass-collecting lawnmowers, marmalade, cotton reel threads, fountain pens… The list goes on. However, we didn’t invent the wheel, but a Scot did invent the pneumatic tire that goes around it. And we’re still an inventive nation, but not so good at making money from those inventions. Alison Grieve is one woman hoping to change that. She is Chief Executive and inventor of the Safetray.

Alison Grieve: I used to have an events business, and in my former years I was a waitress, so I knew the trials and tribulations of carrying trays. At one event, there was a particularly spectacular accident involving a trayload of champagne glasses toppling over just before the host of the event was about to walk in. There were champagne glasses everywhere, glass on the floor, the cost of the champagne alone was a couple of hundred pounds, and it was very embarrassing, costly and, of course, dangerous. So those three reasons helped me to invent the Safetray.

GM: But did you have it in your head that you were an inventor then?

AG: The truth is, that for quite a number of years, in fact ever since I was a child, I used to say “when I grow up I want to be an inventor”. My parents even have a tape of me saying I wanted to be an inventor when I grew up, so there was definitely a desire there. As part of my events business I used to be a consultant at a business events organisation, and saw fantastic financial services, lawyers and accountants. But I used to think that it’s quite sad that a nation that gave birth to incredibly famous engineers, world-renowned scientists and inventors who shaped the world was so focused on services, and that manufacturing had kind of been left by the wayside. I loved the thought of physically manufacturing a product that came out of a machine in Scotland and could travel the world. So there was a bigger motivation there.

GM: But having an idea, and having it in your head that you wanted to do something … there is an awfully long way before you actually get to be an inventor, and to producing something in Scotland that you then sell.

AG: There are some inventors who are quite methodical about how they invent, so they will look at a problem, they will look at, perhaps, existing patents, and they will look at developing an idea further – that’s one kind of inventor. But the other kind of inventor, or perhaps invention, is one that you simply can’t plan. You can’t plan a eureka moment, and the time when I thought about trays, and about the ridiculous way that they’re made, I leapt out of my chair when I came up with that idea. It was literally a moment of a flash, a bubble that just popped on my head, so that I didn’t really plan.

However, after that, because I had this motivation to physically manufacture a product, I knew, as soon as I saw my sketch on a bit of paper, I thought, “that is the one, that is the one”. Within a couple of weeks I’d stopped doing all events. I knew it would take all of my time and energy to devote myself to this product.

GM: Unfortunately this is radio, but describe to us what makes this different to a [normal] tray?

AG:  Although you can’t see this, the Safetray has a clip on the underside. Now you don’t notice it because it just stacks up normally like a regular bar tray, but when you pull it off a bar or a surface, it comes down and it presses against the back of your knuckles. It means that when there is a heavy weight, even an entire bottle of wine right on the edge of the tray, you use your knuckles to control the tray, to keep it horizontal, so you can confidently do single-handed service without fear of the tray becoming unbalanced and toppling over.

GM: It is amazing. So you had this idea, you had your sketch, what happened then?

AG: Well, I looked into how, when you have an idea, can you go about outsourcing things like someone to do the CAD drawings, and somebody to source the manufacturing company? I learned about how you can protect your idea with things like Non-Disclosure Agreements, and that’s what I set about doing. I found a product design consultancy, Fearsomengine in Glasgow, and rather than pay them for their services, I gave them equity in the company, because I wasn’t a cash-rich entrepreneur. I had a business that really paid for my life, but not a great deal else.

GM: Did there come a point where you would say to people that you’re an inventor? When did that happen, or has it happened? Is that what you say you are?

AG: It’s difficult when someone asks what you do, because the invention happens in a flash and then everything else is selling the product, pulling together a good team, raising money, all the other roll-your-sleeves-up hard bits. It starts to feel a bit false, saying you’re an inventor, because it seems like it’s such a long time ago. But recently, now that we’re starting to develop new products, there’s another few patents that will be coming out, and again I feel like an inventor.

GM: Just tell me about the scale of the company you’ve got now, before you go into the new products and expanding in whatever way. What is the scale?

AG: There are four operational staff and there’s a board of five. We export across five continents now, and our major markets have been America, the Middle East and Australia. It’s been a very full-on year of travelling, which sounds very glamorous but it’s quite exhausting actually! But it’s necessary and it’s very exciting to think of these Safetrays, which were just a sketch on a scrap of paper three years ago, going to countries that I’ve never even been to before, swirling around these incredible venues, from salsa venues to pizza restaurants, to high-end bars serving celebrities in LA. It’s just a very exciting thing to be part of.

GM: What pieces of advice could you give to people who are early in the journey of inventing something?

AG: My advice would be that it’s not an easy ride, and that you can’t be disheartened by that. You fill find that there are always more people who oppose you than support you when it’s a game-changing item, and so rather than take that personally, just understand that and embrace it, and understand why people react against innovation. Try to understand the psychology behind that, instead of being hurt by it. Looking back, the most painful experiences have actually been the most enhancing to me as a person. It might not feel like it at the time, but no pain, no gain.

GM,VO: Alison Grieve. We met at the BBC canteen; her office is off-limits because they’re testing new, top-secret products.

Posted on November 26, 2012 .

Safetray is a finalist in the International Trade Awards 2012

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Safetray has been named as a finalist in this year's prestigious International Trade Awards, in the SME category. The ceremony, which last year was held in the Houses of Parliament, takes place on the 10th December and our CEO Alison Grieve will be flying down to London to represent the company. Look out for news closer to the date, but in the meantime we'd love to hear from other companies who will be attending - hit us up on Facebook and say hello.

Posted on November 1, 2012 .

Safetray available from Hisco

Australian customers of Safetray can now order from Hisco in Western Australia. Order yours today by clicking on the link below:

Make sure you also visit our new Buy page, where you will find details of our global distributors.

Posted on September 20, 2012 .

Safetray is a finalist in the Best New Product Awards 2012

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Australia has been a brilliant ride so far, and we're delighted that Safetray has been selected as a finalist in the Hospitality Equipment category of the Best New Product Awards 2012 at Fine Foods Australia.

There's just one more day to see us in action on Stand A1 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, before the team heads for Sydney on the evening of the 13th and then on to the Gold Coast on the 18th. Even Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls has been getting into Safetray:

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Follow us on Twitter for more updates - look out for #safetrayontour and #ivegotthewholeworldonmytray, or find us on Facebook here

Posted on September 12, 2012 .

Safetray available from Chef's Hat

We'll be on Australian shores in just over a week, but you don't have to wait that long to get your hands on a Safetray. Order yours from Chef's Hat today by clicking below:

Make sure you also visit our new Buy page, where you will find details of our global distributors.

Posted on August 29, 2012 .

Safetray is coming to Australia

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"An excellent example of innovation within the hospitality industry." Alex Cotterill, Director, the Park Hyatt Sydney, speaking about Safetray.

It's a trip that's been two years in the making, but in just two short weeks the Safetray crew will be touching down in Australia to see our trays in action Down Under. Safetray will be exhibiting at the Fine Food Australia show in Melbourne, 10-13 September, so come along to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, where we'll be showing off on Stand A1 (naturally). We'll then kick off another epic episode of Safetray on Tour, with three weeks travelling up and down the country, visiting our customers and distributors and getting more Australians on board the Safetray train.

Look out for updates here, lots of Whole World on my Tray images, and adventures galore. If you're in Australia, drop us a line and we'll come and say hello. It'll be bonza, mate.

Posted on August 28, 2012 .

First Minister praises Alison Grieve in conference speech

CEO Alison Grieve spoke at the Business in the Parliament conference last month, and was praised by First Minister Alex Salmond in his opening speech.

Click below to watch the full video. The section where the First Minister mentions Alison begins at 46:20.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/51892.aspx

"The next generation of people to emulate is here amongst us today, and with us in the communities of Scotland. The people ... here range from Alison Grieve, whose Safetray business was established two years ago but is now exporting to Europe, North America and the Emirates, to Jim McColl who famously started as an apprentice at Weir Pumps and is now Chief Executive of Clyde Blowers, a company that employs thousands of people across the planet."

Posted on July 6, 2012 .

Safetray is Event magazine's What's Hot of the Week

Haymarket Publications' Event magazine has chosen Safetray as its "What's Hot" selection for this week - see the full article here.

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"What's the point of creating exquisite canapés if they're going to be scattered on the floor when a serving tray tips over?

Safetray is a new product being used by companies like Compass Group and Sodexo to avoid dropped trays by keeping food and drink perfectly balanced when they are served.

The clue is in the name - Safetray is an adapted tray that remains steady thanks to a retractable clip on its underside, which slips between the server’s middle fingers to offer stability using downward and horizontal traction.

Even if your waiting staff are perfectly poised, they could benefit from the handy clip: a survey conducted by Safetray found nearly a quarter of hospitality staff have suffered an injury because of a toppled tray."

Posted on May 11, 2012 .

Safetray goes to the movies

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Does your mouth water when you think about the pasta scene in Goodfellas or the pizza in Moonstruck? If movies make you hungry, Safetray is teaming up with Foodies Festivals to deliver a unique experience across the UK this summer: the Food of Love Cinema. Starting 5-7 May at Hampton Court Palace, visitors to Foodies will be able to watch films from all over the world, along with the same food that the actors are eating on celluloid, all served up on a Safetray.

Curated by British film director Hannah Robinson, the selection of films and food at the Food of Love Cinema includes:

Bugsy Malone - cream pies and sasparilla

Babette's Feast - French delicacies

Moonstruck - pizza

Goodfellas - pasta

Tampopo - Japanese cuisine

The Scent of Green Papaya - Vietnamese street food

Tickets for the Food of Love Cinema are £10 for adults and £5 for children, in addition to entry to Foodies Festivals.

Posted on April 27, 2012 .