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What is ŌMvino's Affiliate Sommelier Program?
Keeping the hospitality community thriving during these uncertain times is ŌMvino’s daily mission. With the concept of “Digital Mise-en-Place” - hospitality lingo for "putting everything in its place” - ŌMvino is evolving the food & beverage marketing space. With on-site dining at a standstill, this team of marketing and communications experts are bringing a restaurant's sense of place, connection, and experience to guests online; simultaneously ŌMvino hopes to help restaurant workers to overcome the obstacles of the pandemic. Sommeliers, as some of the most versatile members of the restaurant ecosystem, are now becoming digital nomads, using their storytelling skill sets to reach consumers at home.
Led by founder and CMS Advanced Sommelier, Jennifer Estevez, ŌMvino is composed of veterans from the highest echelons of the hospitality industry. Estevez has long supported the idea of remote work and with the beginning of shelter in place, the team created the concept of the Affiliate Sommelier program to better support furloughed industry colleagues.
The Affiliate Sommelier program allows for a much-needed evolution in the role of the sommelier, creating a remote workforce of ex-restaurant pros for hire. This program utilizes the sommelier community’s collective expertise to partner with major industry leaders within the F&B space, as well as other leading industries. With this diverse talent pool, ŌMvino provides distinct advantages: vast, multifarious beverage trade knowledge, as well as business relationships and authentic consumer connections across the spectrum.
ŌMvino recently welcomed Master Sommelier Morgan Harris to their team. Harris, who’s spent the last half-decade running Michelin-starred wine programs, contributes via his expertise in brand placement and marketing, while also growing the ŌMvino client portfolio. “As sommeliers, we’re business people, but we’re also storytellers. While restaurants are shuttered, using a sommelier’s communication experience more in the context of traditional product marketing is a no-brainer for brands trying to develop authentic and engaging messaging,” Harris said.
ŌMvino has seen unprecedented growth in 2020 that Estevez attributes to the shift in the needs of restaurants, wineries, and F&B businesses from physical to digital. Without restaurants to move their inventory, many wineries, specifically boutique or highly allocated brands, have had to refocus towards greater direct to consumer sales. Restaurants have shifted towards take out models and creative outdoor pop-ups. Both wine and food businesses are focusing on digital events.
Work from home and social distancing continue to present challenges to all industries. For a speedy post-COVID recovery, keeping the economy moving is a major imperative. Sending work to beverage and restaurant professionals in need aligns perfectly with finding new diverse ways for clients to get products in the hands of consumers in a meaningful way that meets them where they live, which, right now, is at home.