Christmas is one of the busiest and hardest working times of the year. So while you are rushed off your feet, why not make your wine list work as hard as you?
Christmas is the time of year when people go out, celebrate together… and spend more. From Christmas office parties to family get-togethers, people are prepared to spend more per visit than any other time of year.
You want your staff to be busy looking after customers, so your wine list needs to be your best sales tool. The key to doubling your wine sales at Christmas, according to the hospitality consultancy innventive, is to keep your wine list focussed, seasonal and profitable.
- Focus on what is popular, not what needs to be sold. At this time of year, remove those low-selling, low-profit wines and put them away for after the silly season.
- Focus on the serve. For many, Champagne by the glass is the first drink of the Christmas season. Keep the Champagne separate from the other sparkling wines on the wine list as it can confuse customers and entice them to trade down. Give Champagne its own list to tempt customers to splash out.
- Focus on visibility. Keep a good range of wines and spirits in eye sight of customers – on the back bar, on the wine list, on the table, and on the blackboard.
T’is The Season
- Cognac is a classic Christmas time drink and after-dinner drinks are indulged in more when families get together at this time of year. Ensure you have a selection to offer from the well-known names and the more expensive options. After Wine is a way to increase both profits and customer experience. Match seasonal food and spirits such as dark rums and Christmas pudding or Calvados and apple tart.
- Warming reds. And I don’t mean mulled wines… however… if you have the space and time to make the real mulled wine, go for it. Or how about tapping into the spirit of German Christmas markets with an authentic Gluhwein complete with sugar cube on the side.
- Train your staff – make sure they know the special offers for Christmas and that each has a favourite wine or one that they can pronouce and enthuse about your wines with confidence.
Jingle, Jingle… Profits
- Encourage trading up the wine list by choosing the favourite varietals on your menu (Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec) and offering a second, better choice at a higher price point.
- Don’t hide your back bar behind too much tinsel. “Premium spirits see an uplift of 34% over Christmas [CGA Strategy Brand Index 2011] with 25% of purchases influenced by back-bar displays.
- People are willing to treat themselve to a special bottle of fine wine at Christmas. Fine wines can give you great cash margins. A few bottles of Champagne (or Rose Champagne), Burgundy or Brunello can make your customer’s night and make your establishment something to remember far beyond Christmas season.
Only 9 weeks to go…Over to you…
What are your tips to survive the silly season?