Michael & Thomas Enk

Two career dishwashers.

They were both young and needed the money. So they decided to work in the food service industry during their studies. Brothers Thomas and Michael Enk have had just about every job imaginable, which is how they learned the trade from the ground up. They even used to wash dishes. Now they let their customers’ machines take care of that.

On the path from washing dishes to supplying dishwashers, they had more than just part-time jobs at restaurants. After finishing college, Thomas learned his way around numbers as a corporate controller, while Michael worked as a HORECA manager for a branded company and in catering for a large brewing company. That is where Michael first recognized the potential for the services now offered by Alvanta.

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„We never leave our customers to fend for themselves.“

How many times did they get frustrated about incidents in the kitchens where you worked as students? They had to wash scores of plates just because the dishwasher was not working properly again or not at all. Or because the detergent simply was not up to par. And if the cooking equipment malfunctioned, doing things by hand was not even an option. Note: Only a combi steamer can do what a combi steamer does. As Michael later talked to the CEO about this face to face, he also recognized the business dimension underlying this issue. He discussed the matter with Thomas. Both had been thinking about doing their own thing for a while, and this seemed like a good idea: Sales and service for dishwashers with their own line of high-performance detergents and hygiene products to go along with them. With this comprehensive package, they aimed to supply an all-inclusive service package for commercial kitchens. They would later round off their portfolio with their expertise for high-end combi steamers as they started a partnership with Rational. But first, they had to answer the key question: Would their business model be profitable for their customers and for them? Thomas ran the numbers. The numbers said yes. Alvanta was born. That was over 10 years ago.

„We simply think proactively and organize efficiently.“

Thomas started going door to door in Berlin to get the word out about the new service. He learned everything about the technology, sales channels, and market potential. Little by little, he earned the trust of major manufacturers such as Hobart, Meiko, Winterhalter, and Rational. At the time, Michael stayed quietly in the background as a consultant. In 2015, he became CEO as Alvanta opened its branch office in Hamburg. Today, a highly motivated team helps the two of them keep their customers’ equipment running smoothly and nip hygiene-related problems in the bud.

„We don’t ask what our customers want, but rather what they want to become.“

From experience, the brothers know how important reliability is for their customers. A restaurant that wants to serve food cooked to perfection on clean dishes cannot afford any interruptions. Their guests are waiting. The same holds true for hospitals, where consistent mealtimes provide structure for the day. Here, hygiene is also a major issue, which, if neglected, can be fatal. Therefore, gaining the trust of a hospital is the highest distinction we could possibly receive for our hygiene products. Otherwise, efficient organization and forward-looking ideas are decisive factors for the success of our customers. It might sound easy, but it is not. Alvanta just makes it look that way.

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