After three long, hard months we are finally nearing the time for the re-launch of the hospitality industry! Talking to our customers in recent days we know that many of you are busy introducing changes to achieve that all-important balance of pleasure vs. safety for returning guests.
At Bermar we understand that the path ahead may be a winding one but we also believe that, with the right strategy, wine sales can help you with your relaunch this summer. Now more than ever, you are presented with an opportunity to test out that new menu you have thought about, to develop some exciting cocktails, and to even refocus on what made your venue great in the first place. Consumers have fallen in love with wine during lockdown (pipped to the post only by baking!) so it’s going to be pretty important that you’ve got your wine offer in great shape ready for the opening bell.
We have been working with restaurants, bars, hotels, pubs, cafes, and more for over 30 years and we want to share some of that experience to highlight exciting, easy to implement ideas on how your wine service can help you hit the ground running, check these out:
Our basic strategy falls into 3 simple steps:
Respond – to the messages your customers have given loud and clear during the lockdown. This will, of course, mean sanitisation stations, distancing, and beyond. We’ve touched on it already but also be sure to shift your focus towards wine, the runaway success during lockdown!
Reset – re-evaluate your offer! Thoroughly assess how serving sizes, price points, and innovative marketing can help you maximise margins, and keep customers coming back. This should be less about saving money and more about adding value.
Renew – your relationship with customers, old and new, with innovative and interesting offers and campaigns.
Here are the first set of top tips to show how and why wine by the glass should be at the centre of your strategy in the coming weeks:
A Taste of Luxury
In the post-Covid world, some customers will undoubtedly be cautious about spending big, but we know that they will be seeking great experiences. The challenge for all operators is making sure you maximise the revenue generated by each guest. An elegant way to ease customers into a premium mindset is by giving them the option of simply ordering a premium glass of wine or Champagne and one of your delicious hors d’oeuvres. Think of a unique partnership that can really spark some curiosity… Maybe a glass of vintage Champagne with some lightly smoked salmon, or a glass of English sparkling wine served with fresh local oysters? (Top Tip – with 80% of consumers feeling connected with their community now more than ever, why not try local produce paired with an incredible glass of English Sparkling wine). These simple, premium partnerships are a great way for customers to re-engage with a venue and to enjoy real quality at an attainable price point.
Self-serve Wine Carafe
Ticking the most arduous of hygiene boxes and appealing to customers across the board are the key reasons we see 2020 being the year of the carafe! Take any and every wine on your ‘by the glass list’ and make them available by the 350ml and 500ml carafe. Guests quite willingly serve themselves, the wine is kept table-side and visible, and with a little imagination, you can even chill a white or rosé carafe as you would a bottle. A great initiative to tick the quality and hygiene boxes that we know will keep guests coming back this summer.
Drink your way around the world! During lockdown, data tells us that consumers have become bolder than ever and they’ve fallen in love with wines from all around the world. Why not capitalise on your adventuring guests’ thirst for ‘something new’ by offering tastes, flights, glasses and carafes of wines from across the globe… It’ll open up those lesser-loved parts of your list and, by pairing wines with dishes or even running weekly promotions highlighting specific regions, you can guide eager guests towards those premium wines that’ll ring the cash register.
Seal & Save
Opinions vary greatly as to whether consumers will drink more or less wine of better or worse quality when they start to revisit your operation. There is, however, one great way of bringing innovation to your service whatever the profile of drinker ends up being – and that’s ‘Seal & Save’. In essence, this involves offering your guest the opportunity to have any bottle(s) of wine they open and fail to drink completely, during the course of an evening, resealed and stored until their next visit. It’s a fabulous service that is warmly welcomed by any and all wine lovers. The truth of course is that most customers drink the bottles they’ve bought, but when you do get the opportunity to reseal, you can pretty much guarantee you’ve got a repeat customer sometime during the next week or two!
A fantastic complement to Seal & Save is the option to have a bottle resealed with a Bermar stopper so an unfinished bottle can be taken home to enjoy later. The stoppers are a great, low-cost keepsake that your customer can even use at home!
Social Distanced Media
It is common now for all venues to use social media platforms. However, social media is far more important than just detailing your opening times along with a few cool photos. Use your social media to draw customers in. Develop a new Instagram focused Champagne cocktail and offer a discount to anyone who quotes your unique hashtag to you. Host a Livestream so your customers can see for themselves how you are focused on keeping them safe but what they have to look forward to! This reassurance in the short-term after lockdown ends will help customers choose you when they begin to venture out. Social channels will play a huge role in the ‘early adopting’ guest. Research shows that under 34s are the first customer demographic ready to engage with re-opened venues. Crucially, it is this demographic that is also one of the biggest consumers of social media.
These are just a few ideas on how to start your service with a bang upon reopening. Let us know what you think! Do you have any creative ideas you are planning to do for your re-opening? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we would love to highlight innovative operators via our social channels under our hashtag #OneGlassAtATime
Also, keep an eye out for further tips, tricks, and ideas from the Bermar blog.