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Menus, Marketing, & Management tips to grow your restaurant business.


How to Increase Wine Sales

Staff education and novelty are key in increasing your wine sales

Vino, or wine, is a perfect complement to a perfect meal, but unless your customers are wine aficionados, it’s going to take some education to get them ordering by the glass or the bottle. In this article, we’ll discuss how to increase wine sales by educating your staff and customers.

An Informed Sales Staff Sells More – Wine

Unless your serving staff is under 21, you should offer tasting opportunities for your them. This helps them know more about the wines they sell, which means they sell more wine! Even if they don’t like wine, they can make recommendations on selections to customers who don’t like wine, or, who are not familiar with wine types.

Use the Right Words on Your Wine Menu

Wine selections on the menu should include more than the region of origin, the type and the year. Select words like fruity, bold, earthy, light, sweet, dry and dessert to describe the actual taste. It will help customers narrow the options and increase sales. Try giving your customers opportunities to try selections with these simple strategies:
  • Open up the bar for tasting events. You don't have to offer samples of every wine, but occasionally opening up the bar for a wine tasting or wine pairing event can bring in customers on a slow night.
  • Bring in a few bottles of something new every month. Promote these selections to your email list. Invite them in for a special glass of your featured wine.
  • Always have a featured wine. Pair it with a signature or special dish and make it a special for the week or month. Don’t forget to share it with your customers on Facebook.

Consider Offering Wine Boxes

Instead of just being known for your signature cocktails, become known for your wine selection. This is basically a special for a few featured wines, but it's more elegant and packaged. This is great for an upscale, sit-down restaurant with a trendy bar crowd.

A wine box can be as simple as two half glasses of two wines that complement one another, or you could set up a bento-style box with small shot glass size samples of four to six wines. Place a notecard in the box with your red or white bento box. that allows your customer to rate the wines. You can keep a record of what they like, and they'll have a souvenir of their meal with you.

How do you price a bento-style box wine flight? Calculate the cost of the amount of a glass of each. Measure out how much your small sample holds. Let’s say you charge $7 for one, $6 for two of the wines and $9 for a fourth. Your two-three ounce sample comes out to about a third of a regular wine serving. So, you would have one sample at $2.31 ($7 glass); two at $1.98 ($6 selection) and one at $2.97. The grand total comes to $9.24. The result? You just upsold a customer that would normally select a $6 or $7 glass to the box. You make another $2-$3 from the novelty and build buzz!

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