How to achieve wine upselling

For a Hotel F&B outlet, wine upselling is a crucial a part of day-to-day operation. Giving your team all the efforts to acknowledge opportunities to sell more, can raise your department's income significantly at the end of the month

By Vassilios Canellos

Knowledge-ability is a crucial point that helps the team to raise its sales, especially with wine. Encourage your waiters and managers to undertake your entire list. Knowing the menu is essential for any restaurant staff. Someone can be able to upsell only if he understands the difference between wines, spirits and cocktails.

The first impression of your customers should be as soon as they step into your restaurant. The greeting must be sincere and warm because this will make a difference. Asking some questions such as “how was your day so far” while showing their table will break the ice and could give you the chance to suggest an aperitif or a glass of Champagne to start.

Let people have a look at the menu, bring some water to the table, a welcome appetizer, or bread with butter before asking whether they are ready to order. The customers need time to check the menu at their own pace, to see probably the prices generally or to check the offers. Guests will find it easier to trust the recommendations of your waiter when they are not feeling pressed, when they feel you genuine and not just trying to sell an expensive wine.

I love everything that is old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.
Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield

Usually the waiter will suggest a wine if he has the chance. He doesn’t have to press the customers, just to ensure them that his suggestion can add a great value. By taking the uncertainty of choosing the “right” pairing out of the equation, many customers will get anything that the waiter recommends.

A good moment to ask your guests whether they would like another drink is just before their bottle or glass is finished. Don’t let them order by themselves. Interrupt them gently by asking them whether they want to continue with the same one. You will increase the number of customers that order a second bottle if you ask them before they do it.

There must be always wine and fellowship or we are truly lost.
Ann Fairbairn

Except food pairing suggestions, today’s customer wants information. They don't see the waiter as a dish carrier but as a consultant. They want to have a special moment, they are ready to pay for that and they expect the perfect information. In any case they have access to everything on demand on their smart phone, but they want to know it by you. At a minimum you can give them info about the country, the region, the subregion and the appellation. Ask your distributor for some more detailed information to give an extra touch to the whole process.
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