With the global wine industry on a steady and upward trend, wine lovers around the world consume more and more wine and at the same time, they are studying the philosophy behind it. Learn how you can incorporate the "wine trend" in your hotel, in order to increase your sales and revenue.7 mins read
Through this global “Wine trend“, a unique opportunity has occurred for hotels to increase their sales, while offering excellent and in many cases, local and authentic experiences to their customers.
Vineyards and wine producers from different countries across the globe, Greece included, have grown rapidly in recent years. Thus, hotels internationally can offer excellent quality of wine to their guests, while increasing their profits and revenue from wine sales in different parts of your hotel. Hereby, you can find some simple tips on how to achieve that.
TIP #1. Encourage your staff to study the “Wine World”
The hotel staff should be well-trained in the secrets of wine. The visitors who are wine lovers have gained significant knowledge and experiences, and consequently, they have requirements both from the wine itself and the person who will suggest it to them.
As a result, it is essential for anyone working in an F&B department, to first study in-depth wine, before making any suggestions to prospective customers. All involved employees must have the necessary training about each wine etiquette, such as varieties, aromas, wineries of origin, dates of production, and most importantly the dishes with which it can be paired. In this way, the F&B professional will have the ability to justify the pricing of a certain wine variety to the customers, better explain the reasons why a label is more appropriate than another, and also “train” the least experienced customers, if requested.
TIP #2. Organise wine tasting sessions, and enhance your hotel’s wine sales
Most people do not have enough knowledge about wine. They do not know how should they read a label, how will they understand the aromas of each variety, and with which dish should they combine certain wine varieties. It is important for professionals to understand how the quality of the wine is evaluated and how its value is determined. That can help the enhancement of wine sales in a hotel. In order to achieve that, it is suggested to organise wine tastings regularly, open both for the hotel guests and the local community as well. These sessions can be arranged in a special, and properly designed space of the hotel.
The wine tasting can be free of charge or not, depending on the type or category of label you wish to promote.
If you are not an expert and there is no one with the right knowledge to organise those sessions, you can turn to a sommelier as an external partner and consultant. You can also seek relevant support from other informed winery owners.
TIP #3. Promote local wineries and wine varieties
One of the most well-known reasons to visit a country is to get to know its culture, lifestyle, traditions, and local products. It is suggested to create synergies with wineries in your area, to promote local varieties through your business. Organise wine tasting visits to their wineries, thus creating a fun getaway and experience for your customers.
TIP #4. Create a wine pairing menu
When creating the menu, remember to highlight next to each dish, the wine pairing suggestion. At this point, the waiter should have extensive knowledge of the menu, and the wines offered; that will play a significant role in the customer’s experience. Keep in mind, that it is important for the upselling strategy, to explain every detail to the customer.
TIP #5. Create wine-tasting experiences for your customers
Introduce your customers to the enchanting world of wine! With the new technologies that have been developed, we are now able to serve our customers with all the varieties we have, in test glasses, without opening the bottle, e.g. Coravin. So, we allow them to meet and appreciate new flavors, varieties, and aromas, unknown to them. In this way, we help the (trained) staff to have a chance to promote some of the wines offered during the tasting.
TIP #6. Offer your guests Special Cocktails with wine
Create a wine-based cocktail menu, always in collaboration with someone familiar with the subject. This will offer your customers more options, which are usually lighter and more refreshing while increasing wine sales at your hotel.
TIP #7. Create your own cellar, where you can offer unique labels to your customers
Turn an area of your hotel into a beautiful cellar. In sales, the visual stimulus and space along with the product itself play a significant role. The cellar of your hotel could be designed in such a way, that wine tasting sessions could be hosted. In the same space, the hotel could organise various other events that could be also based on wine, as well. You can see here the example of the unique cellar of the luxurious historic hotel Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo which owns more than 500,000 collectible bottles of wine, and has won the title of the largest hotel cellar in the world!
TIP #8. Create a mini cellar in your hotel’s rooms
A very interesting and profitable practice followed by several luxury hotels around the world is to create a small wine cellar in the customer’s room. This can be done simply by adding a wine cooler. This way you will be able to boost sales also in Room Service, as it will be much easier for the customer, while having available several bottles of wine in his room, to decide and open one while spending a quiet, relaxing or romantic evening.
TIP #9. “Teatime” or “Wine time”?
As mentioned above, a smart and efficient way to increase sales is to create beautiful experiences for your customers. Wine-based events are one of them.
Try to create a kind of “tradition” for your customers, e.g. turning traditional English teatime into wine time.
A nice twist is to include in these events people from the staff who have special knowledge of wine or wish to learn more about it. In this way, the staff learns more about customer experiences and how they could be boosted through certain practices. As a result, customers will appreciate the fact that your team wants to spend time with them.
TIP #10. Launch a tailor-made bottle of wine with the logo of your hotel on it, and offer it to your guests
It is a clever idea to ask the wineries you may collaborate with, to create tailor-made wine labels, especially for your hotel. In this way, you strengthen your brand name, you create a personalised service and you can increase your profits by reselling wines as souvenirs with your label. If they are cost-effective, you can also give them as a welcome or goodbye gift, to your customers. In this way, you will thank them for their preference. The bottle will “travel” (even empty) to their country of origin and will create a pleasant memory that will follow them until the end of their next vacation.
Either way, the options are plenty and depending on the hotel, the budget, and the expectations, wine can be incorporated into your business plan. To accomplish this, hotels must train their employees and collaborate with the right partners in the field of wine. That practice will boost the hotel’s endeavor towards profitable sales.
Christos has 20 years of experience in the Hotel and Food industry, in Greece and internationally. Starting with positions in Service, both in large hotel companies, as well as in fine dining restaurants and bar. He has worked as Restaurant and F&B Manager in companies such as Costa Navarino, Aloft London Excel by Starwood, Ikos, the Myconian Collection, Domes Resorts etc. He participated both as a team member and as a leader in several new projects of the above mentioned companies, while at the same time he exercised his passion for the training and development of his team and the development of human resources. He was trained in adult vocational training at the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development). He is a certified instructor of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and currently works as a Hotel Manager for the Santikos Collection Group, continuing with his educational activity, he has invested in the importance of vocational training of the people who are the backbone of the tourism sector.