Front of house staff must do more to boost wine sales

Front of house staff must do more to boost wine sales

Front of house staff must do more to boost wine sales

Front of house staff don't have enough knowledge about their wine lists to maximise sales, according to a survey we ran on behalf of wine education service Veraison.

The survey revealed that more than half (53%) of diners believe restaurant and bar staff do not know enough about the wine they had on offer. Considering that 42% of respondents stated they would be much more inclined to purchase a bottle of wine if it was recommended by a member of staff, this is something hospitality operators will want to reconsider. Additionally, a significant 57% of guests would be willing to make a more adventurous choice if they were informed about a particular wine in a confident manner.

The research demonstrates that wine is integral to many guests' dining experience, with 64% of guests preferring to dine with a glass of wine over any other beverage. However, despite guests becoming more adventurous with food, the research discovered that people have a tendency to play it safe and go with what they know when it comes to wine - 45% of diners picked a bottle due to a recognisable grape, region or brand name. However, one in five mentioned they would be most influenced by the food they have chosen and whether it paired well with a wine when it came to selecting a bottle.

The research indicates that more could be done by hospitality operators to educate their front of house staff, both on the wines they offer and the type of food those wines would best be paired with. The lack of wine knowledge percieved by guests highlights a gap in the guest experience that savvy operators will be looking to fill.

In a recent article by Big Hospitality, Clement Robert - head sommelier and buyer at London wine and restaurant group 28-50 - suggested that regular staff training and tastings can significantly boost wine sales. He went on to recommend staff be trained to summarise each wine in one succinct and well-informed sentence to avoid long-winded explanations and advised staff to take care when upselling, ascertaining the customer's budget from the wines they are inquiring about and the dishes they have chosen to order. This way, staff are less likely to risk alienating the customer.

Veraison spokeswoman Clara Rubin commented: "Veraison aims to build confidence in frontline staff by empowering them with relevant knowledge that will enable them to 'own' their list and engage with the commercial objectives of the business."

Back to Blog