Maximize Wines by the Glass Profit with Surprise & Delight During This Holiday Season


The holiday season can be a perilous time for your guests and subsequently your staff. Travel delays, cancelled flights, lost luggage, and family dynamics can send even the calmest person’s nerves into overdrive. 

And with holiday stress, comes increased expectations from your guests. In addition to some much-needed relief, many consumers also want to indulge and are willing to spend more on wines by the glass during the holiday season.

As a WineStation customer you are in a better position to both help your guests enjoy their holiday more and maximize your wines by the glass profits.

After 30 plus years of experience working with hospitality organizations, we’re sharing 9 top tips to make the most of your WineStation during the busy holiday travel season.

1. Premium Bottles

Because consumers indulge during the holiday season by spending more than they typically do on a glass of wine, put your best bottles in your WineStation. If you have wines that are only generally sold by the bottle, the holiday season is an excellent time to maximize profit on those bottles. According to the State of the Wine Industry Report for 2018 conducted by Silicon Valley Bank, consumers are flocking to ‘premium’ wines. 

2. Unusual Varietals

The holiday season is a time when consumers are also likely to be more adventurous with their wine selections. In particular, younger wine drinkers are increasingly turning to exotic imports from Italy, France and New Zealand. Providing an unusual varietal as a wine by the glass is an excellent way to satisfy customer curiosity.

3. Standardized Pour

It is the busiest time of year for most restaurants and hotels, and that means that your team is moving fast. With the WineStation, it allows your organization to pour 2, 4, 6 or other pre-selected ounces all at the touch of a button. In general, there is an approximate 10% profit loss due to over generous pours and theft. During the holidays, when customer service is happening at lightning speed it’s easy to pour customers too much.

4. Upsell Without Having to Sell

Placing upscale bottles on your wines by the glass list can edge consumers into a wine that they’ve always wanted to try. One of our clients put a bottle of Screaming Eagle in their WineStation and it sold out in 24 hours all via 2 oz pours. It was the most profitable 24 hours in the hotel’s history. 

5. Better Customer Service

Giving consumers a ‘wow’ experience, either by offering an aspirational wine or a new varietal will increase your word of mouth, form a positive brand experience, create a memory they will never forget, and higher profits for your organization.

6. Make Wine Simple

In a recent survey by the Mintel Group, wine drinkers are confused by wine-industry jargon (80 percent) and want to know in simple terms what a wine tastes like (60 percent). When writing up the wine descriptions, make them as straightforward as possible and ditch the industry jargon.

7. Wine Descriptions

Adding descriptions of the wines on your by-the-glass list can increase sales by 30+ percent. Even wine aficionados and enthusiasts have trouble selecting a wine without descriptions. And again, make those descriptions simple.

8. Provide Clear Wine & Food Pairing Suggestions

At restaurants with clear suggestions for wine and food pairings, profitability can soar. During the holidays, consumers want to indulge, they want to entertain, so make it easy for them by writing the suggestions on the menu. This also encourages upsells by grouping multiple products together.

9. Themed Wine Flights

Creating holiday themed wine flights can encourage consumers to try a variety of wines. Examples could include:

  • Festive Italian Wines
  • Celebrating Around the World – Four favorite varietals at holiday tables in Italy, Spain, Chile and New Zealand.
  • Old vs. New Traditions – A selection of new and old-world wines with holiday traditions from years’ past.

When your guests want to try an expensive wine or a new varietal you’ll not only surprise and delight them this holiday season but maximize your wines by the glass profits.

The holidays can be strenuous for everyone. But with a solid plan that meets the demands of guests, alleviates stress and missteps from your team, you will have a profitable and successful holiday season.   

Wishing you a prosperous and peaceful Holiday 2018.

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