Each and every day restaurant employees serve an array of customers with different wants and needs. Figuring out how to sell wine to every consumer is where the difficulty presents itself. Odds are, your approach to selling changes based on the specific consumer you are serving. In order to help your restaurant’s wine sales, study these 5 wine consumer personas and pinpoint which category your guest fits into.
1. The Wine Snob
Although not the most frequent visitor, the Wine Snob tends to appear whenever they can show off their knowledge. This person may have passed the prestigious sommelier test or is someone that attended one class during that winery visit two summers ago. No matter who the person is, they act to impress.
How to handle: The key to success in this situation is to smile. Let them have their shining moment. They may pick out a wine or wait for your suggestion based off the information they have rattled off themselves. Whether or not their knowledge is correct, always try to steer them in the right direction by showing them additional tasting notes or propose a wine that would pair even better with their meal.
2. The Nervous Buyer
This customer has no idea what wine they want, let alone how to pronounce the name. Their hesitant attitude prevents them from spending money on wine that would make their dining experience even better. If they do buy, the Nervous Buyers are the ones who are mainly going to settle on the cheapest option available.
How to handle: These consumers want your help, even if they don’t ask for it. Digital menus with wine descriptions will already make a huge difference, but your pleasant attitude and understanding can complete the sale. Pointing out the featured list can show uncertain consumers what the restaurant recommends while still allowing them to explore.
3. The Just-Turned-Legal Drinker
This Millennial has received their horizontal ID and can finally (legally) drink in restaurants and bars. Their wine knowledge is lacking, however, as they avoided exploring in order to stay within their college budget. Their palate hasn’t expanded much past the $8 wine on the shelf of the local 7/11. They are anxious to try more varietals, but do not know where to start.
How to handle: Younger consumers are more unsure about what wines they like or dislike, since they haven’t had the chance to sample as many as their older counterparts. Help these customers by suggesting several wines in different price ranges to adhere to their budget while giving them the opportunity to try something new.
4. The Regular
This guest knows what they want and will hardly give your wine list a second glance. The meal they ordered or what their friends are getting won’t matter. Their favorite wine has never steered them wrong, so why switch now?
How to handle: Go along with this consumer’s certainty and let them tell you what they like. From there, feel free to show them all the selections of the varietal they are set on. If they love Malbec from Argentina, offer a similar Malbec produced in France. They can stick with what they like, while taking a tiny step out of their comfort zone.
5. The Experimenter
This go-with-the-flow customer is willing to try anything. Reds, whites and anything in-between. They enjoy learning about their beverages and take the information with them as they leave. They spend time exploring the list and taking in all the options.
How to handle: These consumers are the easiest to serve, as they are all ears for what you have to say. Their interest will already be peaked after exploring the tasting notes provided on the menus, but any additional questions will be directed to you. Use the categories to narrow down what they are looking for during this visit in particular. From there, take into account what they want to eat and any unique selections your restaurant has to offer.