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The wine list your restaurant: Prestige and Performance


I remember that for many years a good friend advised, owner of a beautiful restaurant in Madrid, it should make a change to your wine, as some say "we must aggiornarse"Or updated. I have to admit that my success was limited and did not pass any new reference to suggest for a long time.

But one day my luck changed and my dear friend fell in love with a wonderful woman with a brother, which soon it became his brother, fanatic vitivinicultura. ¡¡Oh, love!! In three months had one of the most interesting wine lists I've ever seen.

Its regulars were delighted, the first I, Of course. They started to arrive new diners who came to taste the wines, honoring one of my favorite sayings is that "Food to accompany the wine". In this case the company top quality.

I would think that my advice were accumulated in some corner of his memory and love was only the trigger. But the letter resulting wine is the best proof that love changes us for good.

Wine in restaurants

Few things give prestige to a restaurant more than a good wine list when the same is maintained, selected and balanced, with areas representing different national and even international. One positions it in your mind automatically as an important restaurant, something that I find more difficult to achieve from the dishes, the decoration, design, maybe if from the care or service.

The cost of having a good selection, which need not be very extensive, It is negligible from the point of view of investment. Anyone who has had to mount a local knows what you have spent on works, in the kitchen, to understand that the immobilized wine (surely we will give providers 60 O 90 days to pay and we will start to sell and collect immediately), It's not important unless we want to have a very extensive wine list and full of great value, something very unusual.

The first idea is that the wine is important in the restaurant and gives prestige, something that many restaurateurs seem to have as clear. In the local will enter varied public profile, but at least for him 25% attendees wine is very important, that is at a table of four people, at least one cares much. If you do not offer something attractive, It will be a dissatisfied customer and most likely will end up being a table unsatisfied.

Once we have the wines, we sell. How did you select the personnel in charge of sale? Do you have a sommelier? If you do not have, How you have chosen the waiters? Do you often drink wine? Are fans? It is very difficult for someone who does not drink wine can be effective when selling.

A letter helps sell well done, but our restaurant is an interactive theater and the actors must be prepared for the role.

Rule 80/20 Ley Pareto

Surely, he 20% the references chosen for the letter will give us the 80% Billing (Pareto Law). Waiters at least should know the characteristics of the selected percentage. Premium wines can be sold without testing, but it is recommended that the basic means of the letter and previously having tasted.

Once selected wines and those in charge of selling, as this is a business and we are to make money: What is the best policy to maximize results and customer satisfaction? What margin we will work them?

Many restaurants have criteria that do not help sell, or impair the sale of higher-end, with the consequent economic damage. Why not promote the sale of those who leave us a greater benefit per guest? Not in percentage terms, If no net euros. Restaurants think in percentages and costs, and my advice is that table should think about profitability / client.

Consider a table of two people who hardly take more than a bottle, the goal should not be to win the 50 % sale price of the unit, If you do not earn more when it rises in price, although percentage is lower.

So a € 20 wine sales could win 10 €. And in one of 55 € price sale win 20 € with what we would be making less percentage, but profitability by the second table would be 20 € versus 10 €, exactly twice. The customer will be happy to take a superior wine at a reasonable price and the restaurant has doubled earnings per uncork a bottle.

In general rule to follow would be that as prices go up for sale, dialing margins should be lower, thinking more of a net differential in percentage margins.

The house wine represents your restaurant

Another recommendation is that the house wine, It should be more than worth one offer, It is what you have chosen to visit, wine representing his home. And if served by the glass, Do not include basic, provide a means wine letter and raise the price of the cup.

Nothing hurts more fans, to ask for a drink somewhere and give us a wine not transmit to us any emotion, more than usual in Spain unfortunately, It seems more concerned that the final price of the cup does not exceed 3 €, that because the customer enjoy wine. This alienates many fans consumption.

In recent 20 years, cards in general have undergone a transformation which has led us to have two or three denominations of classical origins, to a varied offer from different regions and some countries are even beginning to occupy a place in them.

This transformation will offer more plural, enriching the consumer experience, and all the roads that are winding are welcome if they improve our experiences, as someone said: "A wine is ideal when one regrets having finished the bottle."

About the Author

Benetti creator and Pecoraro, leader in Spain in the sale and distribution of Italian-Argentine products for restaurants and Director of Galiffi & Giacomo, business advisory and business consulting.



  1. Right now (2017) the trend seems more to sell wine by the glass with specific pairings for each dish. For prices I have detected that many times margin is calculated in % over purchase price instead of % sale price. A cost wine 100 with 30% margin is not worth 130 if not 150

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