[Credit: Wine and Lights by Geoff Peters 604]


A POV on restaurant wine sales


It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that we still have lots of economic challenges in our restaurants—in both the United States and in Europe. One of them is the amount of the average beverage check. More specifically, bottles sales for wine have decreased noticeably in the past few years. While we can't single-handedly change today's outlook on the world’s economy, we can change our approach on how we see and sell wine. 


We have factors such as drinking and driving where we need to ensure that we keep them in the "circle of concern" and not in our "circle of influence." But we can influence our labels on the wine list as well as the pricing, the amount of wines by the glass (there should always be plenty, in my eyes) and whether we offer 375ml bottles of wine. Yes, I said it.


When I worked and lived in the United States, I would tell people to forget about it and move on, as selling more through volume on a by-the-glass basis would always win. I say the exact opposite for the European market. When we moved here, I quickly noticed that the wine business here is different.  A decent wine-by-the-glass program is not found regularly—if at all—and the house wine (often the only by the glass choice) isn't always drinkable! They have good by-the-bottle offerings, although not in half-bottle servings.  With that, you are either stuck drinking house, or just white or red, neither of which options are really very good.


In Europe, guests who want to dine out nicely or have a special dinner, often want a nice bottle of wine, but can't afford it or rather want to start with white and finish with red.  They do, however really like the bottle approach versus by-the-glass, as often the glass selection is poor or the wines are not very good.  If you now approach the guest with half-bottle options of great quality and recognition, you are likely to seal the deal. This will enhance the guest experience and raise your average check at the same time.


I wouldn't recommend this strategy in a wine/tapas bar, but more in a upscale dining establishment.


Read the original post on Martin’s blog >



Martin J. Diehr is a director of food and beverage in the luxury hospitality sector. Born and raised in Germany, he currently lives in the Canary Islands of Spain. A fan of wine from an early age, he never paid much attention to it until his career took him to the Tampa Marriott Waterside in Tampa, Florida where he became deeply involved in the wine selections for the hotel. He became a certified Sommelier shortly thereafter and from that point on, started to write and edit wine lists at the various properties where he worked. He especially likes to find hidden gems of wines not widely known.  

Tags: Wine Sales

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