These days, there’s nothing new about using technology to help expedite the process of ordering food at a restaurant. Once waitstaff at some restaurants started sending orders back to the kitchen using hand-held devices, it was only a matter of time before similar technology made it directly into the hands of customers – most commonly now through online delivery apps like Seamless and GrubHub. Today, some airline passengers, while they wait to board at the gate area, may even use iPad menus to order, with the assurance that their items will be brought directly to them within minutes.
It’s hard to differentiate your restaurant’s wine program among many competitors in your area and really make it stand out. Nearly every restaurant considers it table stakes to have a well trained staff and diverse wine list so there is something for everyone on the list. But did you know that expanding your by-the-glass offerings can be one of the best ways to appeal to customers and increase your sales?
Having a big, diverse list is great, but not if there are very few by-the-glass options. Many diners want to try new and different things, but aren’t comfortable spending a lot of money on a bottle they’ve never had before. Enter your glass program, where diners could taste multiple different wines without committing to a bottle.
Fleming’s, the national steakhouse chain, has done just that. By providing 100 by-the-glass options to diners, the steakhouse has seen sales increase 4.2% this past year while all their competitors were declining. Providing a diverse glass list can allow you to provide multiple pour sizes as well, by going smaller with a 3oz taste portion or providing a larger 9oz pour like Fleming’s does.
One of the challenges of expanding the glass list is having wine go bad if it isn’t ordered frequently. There are several things you can do to address this and make glass pours more profitable with less waste: Read more
The scene is a common one. A group of diners are out for a nice meal when suddenly the server hands over the wine list. It’s pages long and feels as heavy as your high school chemistry book. As you scan the list, you are overwhelmed by the hundreds of wine you have never even heard of before. You ask the server for a few recommendations but he seems equally nonplussed, not to mention, frantically busy.
Then you glance at the prices. One hundred dollars for a bottle of wine you might not even like? No way. You give up and order the cheapest bottle of wine (or the second cheapest, just to be a little decadent). You don’t know if you made the right choice, but at least it didn’t break the bank.
Thankfully, there is a better way. Electronic menus are changing the way people choose wine and enhancing the dining experience from start to finish. With an electronic menu, the guest is empowered to make the best decision for his or her palette as well as for their meal. Read more