When was the last time you trained your servers on how to sell more wine? Wine is good. Wine is profit and your customers will reward you for it.
There is no substitute for actual tasting when it comes to learning about wine. Wine tasting should be part of new hire training, and an ongoing activity for all staff members. This can seem like an overwhelming task, but approach it from an easier and fun angle. It will really work!
Generally, but not always the case…the main areas to focus are:
Limited wine information of management – it happens
Lack of structure in overall training program – sorely overlooked
Cost of wines used at employee tastings – wines do not need to be expensive to learn
Employee (or lack thereof) cooperation – most of the time it’s fear of the unknown
Do you have these challenges? All of them are easy to improve.
Rather than overwhelming servers with geography lessons, offer basic knowledge on grape varieties and regions. Depending on your wine list, you may want to offer some more detailed insight where appropriate.
There are at least five ideal times during a meal to sell more wine because there’s no reason not to get a bottle if you’re enjoying the wine; because even after dinner is a good time to sell a bottle…Especially these days when you can carry out and your list has a lot of wine not in stores.
Having that little bit of knowledge will go a long way in helping servers feel confident they’re pointing diners in the right direction.
So, train servers on knowing a detail of the wine’s story that they can share, even if it’s not something super specific. Find a sommelier that you can trust to help. You may need a Somm’s Somm. A coach for your Wine Director that will work together to help accomplish goals and additional profit.