How to Increase Wine Sales

How to Increase Wine Sales

Selling wine can be a complex and dueling task, but it doesn't have to be. Just ask the staff at Olive Garden. They have learned how to take advantage of the mantra: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

This acronym has been around for a while now and it's absolutely true. Novice customers rely on restaurants to recommend wine selections to them, so why not fill that need?

Here are my six steps to increase wine sales:

1) Evaluate Wine Selection

Select wines by the style of your patrons and the food served. Try not to rely completely on the recommendations of the wine distributor's sales representative, as he or she is trying to get you to buy the wines they distribute. Don't focus too much on price, but do make sure that a bottle of wine costs no more than the customer's meal.

2) Create Ambiance

Wine bottles should be displayed in plain view and be recognizable to the patrons even though he or she may not be a wine connoisseur. Music and lighting should create a relaxed atmosphere and the environment should be cozy.

3) Educate Staff

Learn the basics. What does wine mean? What is the difference between a good bottle of wine and a bad bottle? How is wine ranked?

Learn wine aromas and descriptors, but don't forget to keep it simple. Use words that the average patron and staff members will understand and remember. Stay away from stuffy descriptions and provide just enough information. In other words, there is no need to offer too many details.

4) Offer Wine Tasting

As a consumer, I always enjoy getting something for nothing. What better way to begin an evening then by being offered a sample of one or two types of wine? What does the consumer have to lose? If they don't like the wine sample, that's perfectly okay. If they do like it, then they will ask for a glass or better yet - for a bottle.

5) Educate Patrons

I can't preach this one enough. Many consumers don't buy wine because they feel unable to make an educated wine selection. Recommend wine selections complimenting menu choices. This will transform your patron's meal into an experience, and at the same time make the patron confident enough to order a favorable wine choice.
6) Offer a Bottle vs. a Glass

Some states have passed wine to go laws allowing patrons to take home an unfinished bottle of wine. These laws have also been referred to as Merlot to Go, Cork n' Carry, Pinot to Go, or Wine Doggie Bag Bills. Most patrons are not aware of this law. Take this opportunity to inform them, and watch your wine bottle sales skyrocket! To learn more about your state wine to go law, visit

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About The Author, Csmith1171