Restaurant iPad Wine List

Why Your Wine Menu Is Scaring Your Guests

Are you the kind of restaurateur who is proud of your vast wine list? Do you boast about the hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of bottles you stock? I’m sorry to tell you this, but even though your wine list may be awesome, it’s probably killing your sales. Today’s article clarifies why a long wine menu cuts into your customers’ wine purchases, then gives you the method to fix that problem — fast. 

Meet tonight’s customers

Tonight, like every other night, you will have a couple of nervous young people, newly in love (or at least exploring the possibility of becoming so). They will want to enjoy your incredible food and they’ll also want to have a nice drink with their dinner. Since they’re dating, they’ll want to look smart, calm, collected, cool, and attractive while ordering… and if they aren’t oenophiles, your laundry-list wine menu will make them sweat bullets.

Why your “terrifying” sommelier makes their night unpleasant 

It really doesn’t matter if you have a great sommelier to help those nervous young people. It doesn’t even matter if your somm asks all the right questions. The truth is, those dating rookies won’t know how to talk to a sommelier. They’ll think they need to know something about wine. They’ll think it’s a sign of weakness to ask questions.

Instead of consulting your somm, those young bucks will recklessly choose a wine based on price and pronounce-ability, and when their chosen bottle arrives, one of them will sniff the cork approvingly, with a disdainfully raised eyebrow.

Your customer will sniff his or her sample glass quickly, swallow its contents with a scared expression, and silently and secretly hope like mad that their date doesn’t know what a “corked” wine tastes like.

You’re suddenly remembering your early dates, huh?  

How your digital wine menu swoops in to the rescue

With a digital wine menu, your nervous couple is likely to relax. Here’s why:

  • They can peruse the menu at their leisure, with no scary somm standing over them
  • The menu is interactive, which will distract them from feeling self-conscious about their skinny jeans
  • The included drink database notes will empower them with the info they need to impress each other
  • Instead of a black-and-white list, they’ll be able to access fancy wine descriptions and pictures of labels
  • They’re young. They like messing around on iPads.

Seriously though, here’s how you can increase wine sales using an iPad

Offering an easily navigable menu filled with helpful information is all well and good… but you know and I know that presenting more information doesn’t necessarily lead to increased wine sales.

To increase those sales, you have to use the unstoppable duo: sommelier plus digital wine menu.

An article in this week’s New York Times spotlighted a somm who uses his knowledge of wine (and his knowledge of technology) to present only a few wines on each table’s digital wine list.

Steal this technique to sell more wine

  1. Don’t present a wine menu automatically when the table is seated.
  2. Send your somm over to each table — fast.
  3. As your resident wine expert, your sommelier should ask your customers about their wine tastes and then decide which five bottles to recommend specifically.
  4. Leave your customers alone for a few to research their wine options stress-free, using the power of your wine menu app.
  5. Have your somm return for questions.
  6. When delivering the bottle, make sure that customers are taught how to properly sniff wine, examine its color, etc.

What was your first wine ordering experience like? Share your story on Twitter @UncorkdMenus

Photo licensed by Luz