Posts Tagged ‘wine list’

How to Increase the Profit of Your Restaurant Wine List

April 6, 2012

If you want to up sell your restaurant wine list, you need to do a few things to keep the customer experience fun and memorable. As we discussed in the last post, timing is everything. Get to the table and deliver the wine list.  This is the time to make any wine suggestions.

Have the servers practice opening bottles. A bottle with pieces of cork left in it could easily be refused by the host. If the bottle is opened incorrectly, the server may break the glass or drip wine on the customer. This is a liability that could be solved with a bit of practice.

Up Selling Your Wine List

When the customers order their food, now is the time to make suggestions for pairings with the entrée.

You want to check in often to refill wine glasses, but you don’t want to empty the bottle because this is perceived as pushy. Keep a fine balance between hawking over your tables and over serving the wine and being absent when needed.

The key is to monitor the customer from afar and anticipate any needs before they have to ask.

Make sure that you don’t have any excess glassware on the table during this time, even if you have a busboy for that job.

You can also offer a dessert wine or nice port at the end of dinner. These are nice add-ons to substantially increase the amount of the ticket.

Other Ways to Increase the Restaurant Wine List Sales

If you want to increase the profit of your business using your wine list, you can do other things, too. Think about running contests for who sells the most bottles of wine. Make the prize substantial so that your employees will be motivated.

You can also offer paid training. You will find that your servers appreciate the opportunity to more confidently sell the wine list.



How to Make the Most of Your Restaurant Wine List

April 4, 2012

In our next couple posts, we’ll be talking about tips and tricks for the restaurant wine list. What constitutes a good restaurant wine list? Many would say the server’s knowledge of the list and suggestions of pairings makes the difference.

While this is important, in the grand scheme of things, not as much as you’d think. The main thing is presentation.

Presentation of the Wine

The amount of time that lapses from ordering the bottle and delivery sets the mood for the rest of the dining experience. Bring the wine to the table, first and foremost. Leaving a customer waiting is the fastest way to lose interest and profit. Once you’ve trained your servers to do this, the rest will be easy.

Don’t worry about how well the server knows the red wine list, the body of a wine, or even the color if you don’t have this basic down first. The truth is you probably won’t sell much wine without good presentation.

Steps to Presenting the Wine

Before coming back to the table, the server needs to make sure that the appropriate glassware is on the table. The show really begins when the server opens the bottle.

  1. Place the wine on the table with the label facing the host.
  2. Debate exists over the presentation of the cork, but either way, you should offer the cork to the host or place it near the host.
  3. Then pour two ounces of wine in the host’s glass. Once the host accepts, begin pouring for the guests clockwise.
  4. Fill red wine a third of the way and white wine halfway.
  5. Make sure there is enough for the whole table. A full bottle serves 4-6 people.
  6. Twist the bottle as you finish a pour to avoid dripping.
  7. Always keep the label facing the host as you pour.
  8. Never pour the bottom of a bottle.
  9. Red wine goes to the right of the host and white in an ice bucket.

Those are the basics to having a successful restaurant wine list no matter how big or small your establishment is. Tune in to our next blog post to find out more.



Looking to Expand Your Wine List? Try Adding Viognier.

January 3, 2011

So here’s an interesting option to consider adding to your wine list: it’s a little known kind of grape from Northern Rhone called the Viognier (it’s pronounced vee-0-nier). The grade provides a fruity kind of wine which is quite different from the whites you probably are already offering your diners.

Unlike Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, which are all staples of any decent restaurant’s wine list, Viognier was considered an extreme rarity, offered from just a handful of vineyards and offered to the world’s wealthiest clientele.

Viognier Suppliers in High Demand

All that began to change around twenty years ago. Today, the grape is grown in a number of countries, including Australia, France, Chile, Spain and Israel to name a few. For those looking for more unusual wine manufacturers offering Viognier, consider Swiss, South African or even Lebanese Viogener.

Experts describe the wine as offering a more “fragrant aroma” than traditional whites and report aromas of peach, pear and apricot from the wine. It is reported as being a softer wine than traditional whites. It is often mixed with Shirax or Syrah grapes for an interesting experience, which also helps to stabilize the color of the vintage.

Offering Viognier on Your Wine List

While you should certainly continue to offer the more traditional wines on your wine list, we’re suggesting you ask your sommelier about Viogener in order to offer your guests a unique dining experience. The wine is generally offered as dry or semi dry so it is most appropriate with dishes traditionally served with white wines, such as fish.

Now you can acquire Viognier at reasonable prices. With bottles from some producers being offered at retail for as little as $10 (a far cry from the outrageous prices traditionally associated with this grape just a few years ago), it is appropriate for medium level restaurateurs to offer to their guests.

The iPad Wine List–Now Just a Touch Screen Away

October 6, 2010

Well here’s a brand new take on how to serve wine–use an iPad. Traditional wine lists at fine restaurants have always been a bit difficult to maintain, given the wide variety of wines one may find in a well stocked cellar. Several restaurants have taken advantage of the latest technology craze to update an age old tradition.

How Does the iPad Wine List Work?

Bones is one of the oldest steak houses in Atlanta. The restaurant features oak paneling and fine white tablecloths now hands out iPads to their customers, customized with a listing of the 1,350 wines available in their extensive cellar.

The new system allows diners to search for wines by date, region and type. It also allows them to choose directly on the device’s touch screen exactly which wines they’d like to have.

The iPad Wine Lis Raises Wine Purchases 11%

However, this isn’t just about creating a new experience for the diners where wines are easier to choose. It’s also good business–just two weeks after introducing the new iPad wine lists, the restaurant is reporting 11% growth in the purchase of wines by their patrons.

According to a recent report on the phenomenon, similar results have been reported at other restaurants that have tried the approach in places as diverse as New York, London and Sydney.

What’s Driving this Increase in Wine Sales?

It does seem that patrons are warming to the new menus not because of the novelty of the new technology but rather because they provide a new sense of empowerment.  It allows them to learn on their own about the various wines available from the restaurant without feeling pressured by a restaurant paid sommelier.

One key to this it seems is that the ratings provided on the iPad menus are by independent wine writers rather than by someone the restaurant may be paying to promote a particular brand that they are overstocked on.