10 Ways Restaurants Undermine Their Beverage Programs
June 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
The best planned and well-conceived beverage program can be derailed or at least minimized by common mistakes. Here are 10 of them and they are far more common than you would expect.
- Failing to post wine and drink menus on the restaurant website OR.
- Leaving outdated information on the site
- Posting ‘sample’ lists that don’t reflect the diversity and scope of the beverage program
- Incomplete list e.g have wine BTG but no BTB list or fail to include craft beer and/or a complete cocktail list
- Failing to provide pricing on drink list (common problem for beer and cocktails). Would you order from a dinner menu that had no prices? So why the double standard for drinks?
- Failing to include drinks (wine BTG, beer, cocktails) on the food menu.
- Using the words “Ask your server about our (reserve wine list, craft beers, small-batch bourbon, etc) .” If it’s worth selling, it is worth placing on a menu that may have to be reprinted once and a while. Server’s have a hard enough time memorizing the daily food specials – don’t expect them to recite and describe the 20 craft beers you pour.
- If there is a drinks menu: failing to place the wine list, drink list, beer list on the same menu. While a ‘complete’ beverage menu is common in casual chains, many upscale-casual and fine-dining establishments force their patrons to juggle menus.
- Not having a craft beer list (or a cocktail list)
- Not training your bartenders to have a background on what they are serving.
- Treating beer taps as faucets (bartenders who let a beer tap ‘run’ prior to pouring a draft is one of greatest sources of lost beverage revenue)
- Excessive pricing of mass-market brands. Consumer seeing over a 3 times retail price for a wine they frequently see on an end-aisle display at their local liquor store will assume the restaurant is overcharging for everything and will probably not return (FYI, I don’t)
- Not having tastings or flights of wine and beer (some enterprising chains offer cocktail flights by the way).