As a wine enthusiast, I quite inadvertently notice things which normally we tend to overlook when we go to a restaurant to spend a nice evening with our friends. Let me tell you one such instance which raised a very pertinent question in my mind and would probably do so too in your mind once I share it with you.
Of late I happened to be at a restaurant with my friends. We were in a mood to have some wine. I generally tend to choose my preferred wine after a browse through the wine list but on this occasion I deliberately sought the waiter's suggestion. This approach often brings out the sales approach of the waiters when trying to suggest wines. The waiter told me a brand name and then deliberately I asked for the wine list. I had a hunch as to where it was leading. As expected it turned out to be one of the most expensive wines on the list.
My opinion is that such restaurant staff does not value customers. If you suggest a very expensive product you tend to kill your repeat orders and in turn your sales also.
I am sure it might have happened to a lot of other people also. I just can't understand why they harm their sales by this selling tactic. This strange approach is so mechanical that they forget that the customer ordering also wants the best out of his money.
Let me put forth another point, which I know will raise quite a few eyebrows but I just can't stop sharing this and would also like to know your opinion on this.
If we recollect, when we go out for a dinner we are first given the wine /beverage list and then the food menu list. And after selecting our beverage we scratch our head about which dish to take. What we are doing in the process is trying to match the food with the wine, which if you give a thought is the opposite of what it should be. One should first order the food and then depending on the tasting notes/ sommelier's advice order a particular wine from the wine list. I think this should work better.
For the benefit of all who are in the hospitality here are a few things to remember before suggesting wines.
1. Please ask the guest what he likes based on any previous experience of savoring wine.
2. See if there is any occasion for you to use your proactiveness in suggesting wines.
3. Suggestion can also be made after food is ordered.
4. Remember couple of food and wine match as per yor menu which you can suggest to guest as it will make a strong statement and save time also.
5. Your product knowledge is always a show stealer
6. Please make a wine list with inserts which you can easily replace when dirty or if any changes in it.
7. There can be nothing worse than having a long wine list with big NA list.
8. Have wine list with adequate range and in orderly manner (by region, varietals, body etc)
1. Please don't suggest wines according to the price.
2. Don't serve a wine that is opened for more than 3-4 days.
3. Don't serve wine at a wrong temperature
4. Don't serve wine with scratched or torn labels use these offerings for banquets or parties
Ajay Kumar Gothwal is a Wine Educator with experience of working abroad as well as in India. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for further communication.