How to Open the Wine Sales Revenue Tap in Your Restaurant to the Full
TAMING THE BEAST
How can we expect servers to recall details of dozens or hundreds of the wines? Food pairings for each, relevant upsell wines, or the feature wines, without proper tools and training?
If staff don’t have the level of knowledge and confidence required to drive wine sales and maximize their income, the entire operation suffers. Turnover, customer experience and loyalty, service quality, operational efficiency, profitability and brand reputation are all put at risk.
More effective training and efficient wine knowledge distribution are key.
When a member of the team hits their shift, he or she must be ready to promote your feature wines and upsell, in a fluid, convincing and passionate manner.
“MANDATE A WINE TASTING NOTES BASED TRAINING POLICY”
One of the absolute, most effective and inexpensive ideas to adopt right away is to make sure all staff take tasting notes during training and tastings. All the time and for every wine.
Without adequate information recall, staff stand no chance at delivering to their real potential.
When people take good notes, they usually remember things well enough that they rarely end up having to look at their notes again. In fact, writing things down makes us remember them better.
On a complex subject like wine, having easy access to tasting notes later on also ups the opportunity even more.
“NOT WRITING THINGS DOWN IS JUST ASKING TO FORGET.”
In one presentation by Forrester Research, they highlight that involving all senses increases learning effectiveness. 20 percent if we hear information only, 30 percent if we also see things, and 90 percent by reading, discussing and doing at the same time.
Quoting from an article by Dustin Wax, before we write, although indistinguishably so, we put some degree of thought into evaluating and ordering the information that we are receiving. That process, and not the notes themselves, is what helps fix ideas more firmly in our minds, leading to greater recall down the line.
Wine training and tastings without taking tasting notes is one of the key reasons behind the lack of recall and server confidence that compromise wine sales. Why the value of the effort, energy and investment you put into wine training is compromised. As well, one of the key reasons why our client, mentioned in part 2 of this article series, isn’t getting his servers to promote the feature wines. Beside the fact that they already make good money and don’t see why they should put in the extra effort.
RELATED POST: TAMING THE WINE TRAINING BEAST (PART 2)
Many restaurant companies run expensive tastings and training that seem more like small parties. Staff get to taste great wines, try out menus, chat and share a laugh with colleagues, and learn about wine.
Hardly anyone takes tasting notes nowadays. In many restaurant organizations, not even the sommelier or wine educator who is leading the wine program.
These should in fact be the role models for the rest of the staff to follow. To lead by example.
This is a very simple, effective strategy every licensed establishment can deploy right away.
Given the statistics,
“TAKING TASTING NOTES SHOULD BECOME MANDATORY, NOT AN OPTION.”
Like your POS, internal communication, or seating management and scheduling systems.
THE CASE FOR DIGITAL TASTING NOTES
When and if a staff member takes notes, it’s typically on paper. As a wine pro, you know where that note ends up. In the back of a drawer, likely never to see the daylight again nor benefit your company as much as it should.
Immersive, smart wine tasting technology is now available for everyone to use right on their phone or tablet. A unified tool standardizes the tasting and learning process. The right one is comprehensive and speeds up the note taking process to enhance learning and reduce the cost of training for the company. Multiplied by the number of training and tasting events you do each year, it’s a no brainer.
This strategy will ensure that staff tasting notes also become accessible to them when and where they need them. The net result is better information recall. The missing link to increased sales, better customer experience and loyalty, and improved staff retention.
In the next and final part of this article series, we reveal the second strategy for releasing the gridlock that is curbing your wine sales.
Feel free to do what others have done. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get PART 4 in advance.