With so much focus on ‘getting it right’, the hardship of postponed support & maneuvering a handful of extended restrictions, we take our hats off to you as you continue to entice and delight consumers emerging from a year-long rollercoaster. Despite the rapid, busy nature of the industry, you continue to exceed customer expectations no matter the cost. Having said that, we know you are always looking to grow and adapt to consumer demands. This can sound scary… as you might think it translates into reinventing the wheel and spending ridiculous amounts of money on riveting and lavish displays. However, rather than invest your precious time hunched over endless mazes of blueprints and renovation commitments, revamping or picking apart your entire menu, bringing in new members of staff and/or devoting time and resources to varied opportunities, consider what can be done this very second using what you already have to hand – starting with your wine list.
In this article, we’re going to explore a handful of ways you can continue to boost your wine sales and make your guests happy without breaking the bank. After all, consumer trends in the post-pandemic era highlight an increasing, newfound love for wine with “more than a fifth of wine drinkers now planning to spend more time and money in the On-Trade than they did before COVID, while two in five think they will go out more often than they did in 2019”.
So how can you prepare for those increasing summer demands and escalate profits instantaneously with little to no work on your part? We’re here to help you disengage from the urge to panic and direct your attention to the assets and strengths you already have. Let’s explore a few immediate actions and options that will elevate your wine service just in time for the arrival of summer in full swing.
Make your current wine list work harder…
Sometimes the best developments stem from pre-existing ideas – like your current wine list. Based on your by the glass offerings, is there an opportunity to extend or expand already? Your guests may be limited to a handful of white and red options (sometimes a sparkling wine may make an appearance); likewise, only one or two premium selections may make the final cut. And while sales may look set to soar this summer, you can certainly do more with little to no effort involved. Let’s talk about how.
The best and easiest way to sell more is to give customers a premium and wider choice. If you want to encourage your guests to try certain types of wine, you need flexibility beyond the run-of-the-mill options. Are there some categories of wine that you have overlooked? Do you have a cool new producer, a hot new region or an on-trend biodynamic label on the list already? Fantastic – if it’s already sitting on the shelf, put it in the spotlight by adding it to the by the glass menu! Consumers will surprise you in their willingness to try new, adventurous, even more expensive wine options. In fact, the CGA has reported that consumer choices are shifting with higher quality wine sales increasing by 38% – and this is only expected to rise as the year pans out with more than a fifth of wine drinkers planning to spend more time and money than they did before the pandemic.
Aligned with these considerations is your pricing strategy and how certain additions and adjustments to the price list can actually boost your overall revenue. Where your premium bottles of Champagne may be a hard sell in their entirety, adding one or two of these premium wines to your by-the-glass offerings opens up a window of opportunity for your consumers. Where the price of a bottle may have originally been out of reach, a glass gives guests the opportunity to explore new and exciting wines without the hefty price tag, securing you the ultimate goal: happy, delighted customers. And before you close the page or exit your web browser, rest assured that premium does not always mean most expensive. The leap to a more ‘premium’ wine selection is as simple as giving your customers the opportunity to move up a ladder; so, if you currently offer an affordable, entry-level red, what would be considered the next step(s) up for your menu? Think good to better!
In some instances, the ability to gear up may not be so straightforward, but again, other steps to fine-tuning your wine list are small and extremely achievable. Wine styles go in and out of fashion just like everything else on the market. As a result, it’s important to have one ear to the ground so as to better understand these evolving trends and demands. If diners are regularly enquiring about ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ wines, this is a huge tell in terms of any small redirection you might consider. By extension, if you’re light on premium options, new regions or new styles, it may be worth investing in such options. UK wine consumers are reported to be “trading up” with regards to their wine-drinking habits, with an 11% increase over the past year in relation to spending patterns where data suggests “they are spending more liberally than last year in exchange for somewhat better booze in the off-trade.” This shift in behaviour will generate a shift in demand, beckoning you to develop a bigger and better wine list that sells.
Another trend paving the way for summer popularity is Prosecco rosé. Officially permitted for export by the Italian government in November of 2020, the pink bubbles are predicted to ‘breathe life’ into your summer drinks menu just in time for the emerging Prosecco lovers to hop on board.
The last honourable mention, coined by Forbes as a “unique, rare, and exotic treat”, stems from vineyards of frostbitten grapes that turnover an incredibly sweet for the soul – and palate – refreshment: ice wine. Best served chilled & enjoyed over ice, your consumers will gladly embrace this option when thumbing through your summer specials in search of a cold refreshment on those hot summer days.
Your summer specials board
With an enthralling list of wine and Champagnes under your belt, the summer specials board can also sing sweet praises to you & your guests. These unique (and sometimes bespoke) beverages give consumers even more incentive to trade up during the warmer months and they’re easy to incorporate with your already attractive wine list.
Nothing screams special like a cool, refreshing summer cocktail; why not offer your guests an array of mojitos and margaritas…with a wine twist! Summer 2021 brings with it the rise of the ‘wine cocktail’ craze, proving to be a perfect way to show off & incorporate your new and improved wine list in a fun, trendy way. Dress up the flavours and potential of wine with a Champagne martini or an Aperol mimosa…wine is far too diverse in potential to be chained to spritzers alone. This is another instance where you don’t need to bend over backwards & spend your cash, rather you can birth new, innovative cocktails from the supplies you already stock in your bar.
Eliminate that hesitation to expand!
Trust us, we get it. You’re mid-season, dodging bullets and restrictions so the last thing you want to confront is squandered cash. While adding all these fresh & innovative items to your menu may sound like a recipe for wasted money, we assure you this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s the opposite! Expanding your by-the-glass options and incorporating more wine into your menu will introduce your guests to new and exciting offerings, keep them happy, give them reason to return, and is also a sure-fire way to increase your sales revenue and profits overall – if you’ve got the right tools to hand.
We know that sinking feeling when an opened bottle of wine sits on the counter for a few days – made even worse during the hot summer months – and without the use of effective wine preservation techniques, you’re left with a handful of undrinkable, unsellable wine bottles. Even after spending a sizeable amount of time reading about how adding to the menu brings with it positive advantages, we completely understand why you aren’t and why you may be hesitant.
One way to reduce that hesitation is with incredible preservation. At Bermar, we manufacture the world’s leading wine and Champagne preservation systems, allowing you to offer an incredible range of wines & Champagnes by-the-glass, without the imminent fear of waste or the worry of having to pour anything down the drain due to it being spoiled.
With our systems, you are guaranteed 21 days of precise preservation, allowing you to extend your wine by-the-glass offering, boost sales revenue, and maximise the summer rush – effective immediately! Pour your diners a fresh, delicious summer cocktail or glass of wine each and every time, giving them a reason to boast about your venue and their experience, as well as give them incentive to return time and time again.
Small changes that make a big difference …
Remember, the goal is to make your wine list work harder for you this summer, not the other way around. Minor & immediate adjustments such as adding to your pre-existing drinks menu will give your customers a real incentive to explore different flavours, discover new favourite wines, increase your profits, and, of course, keep customers returning as we enter those peak summer months.
If you are interested in our products and want to hear more about how they can maximise your summer experience, contact us at email@example.com or get in touch with our lovely team on +44 (0) 1473 612 062.