Starting a Wine Bar Post COVID-19: You Can & You Should

The swift and unexpected spread of COVID-19 has been a devastating blow to businesses large and small. A recent study found that since the virus landed in the U.S. 43% of small business owners were forced to temporarily shut down their production while almost 2% have had to close completely due to lost revenue. It’s a scary time in the world of leadership and technology, but if history has shown us anything it’s that innovation thrives when the status quo is disrupted.


As the future continues to be uncertain, perhaps there is some hope on the horizon for aspiring entrepreneurs. 

How Can I Start a Business During a Pandemic?

We’ve seen this story play out before. The U.S. economy crashes, Americans lose their jobs, and then from the ashes of unemployment, we see a rise in not only new businesses, but new industries. People in need learn after every recession that if your job no longer exists then you have to either learn a new trade, invent a new trade, or both! 

After the great recession a decade ago the number of people doing alternative work rose by over 3%. Companies like Uber and Airbnb debuted and cornered the market on consumers who were looking for both a quick and easy way to make extra money and a less expensive means of transportation and housing. In what appears to be the start of a new recession in response to COVID-19 closures and job losses, industries like home repair, home improvement, and gardening/livestock are now seeing their interest soar. 

So if your employment has been affected by the current pandemic, and you’re in a position to make a career change, consider starting a new business while new types of businesses are in high demand. Not only is now a great time to start a new industry, but to also revamp industries people have missed while they’ve been quarantined. 

For example… wine!

Why Open a Wine Bar in 2020?

As new industries are coming to life, modern versions of well established businesses are catching the interests of consumers who are longing to find a way to safely gather in small groups again. 

A recent article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce digital platform, CO, found there are 15 types of small businesses, founded before 2020, that are thriving amid COVID-19 lifestyle changes. Businesses like cleaning services, food prep, and game makers are all on the rise in response to the growing number of people that are forced to stay home. However, one particular type of business that we’d like to discuss is the increase in revenue for small grocery, liquor and wine stores. Many people are choosing to enjoy their happy hour drinks at home, but probably miss the social experience of having a glass of wine from anyplace other than their living room. What we’re seeing right now is an expansion of wine businesses that want to act as a retail store, while also jumping on the opportunity to regain revenue from offering wines by the glass for purchase. 

As a company founded and run by entrepreneurs, Napa Technology prides itself on being the leader in innovation and technology, and this rise in alternative wine sales is a very exciting turn in the industry for us. Wine, and the WineStation, may be our main product, but our specialty is in successful business startups within the beverage industry. For those who are interested in opening a wine bar, but aren’t sure how they could possibly succeed with all the struggle and strife present in 2020, we encourage you to let Napa Technology be your guide. After years of experience and research, we crafted an actual, honest guide to help you start and grow your wine bar or tasting room. Click here to download our FREE 12-step checklist, Before the Pour, which will lay out for you how to start a wine bar that actually makes money. 

Though all the risks of opening a new business are still present, that doesn’t mean entrepreneurs can’t begin to take the first steps towards doing what they would love. There are endless resources available, thanks to modern technology, that can assist you in gathering research and connections. To start, follow these articles from Small Business Chron for more information on how to start a wine bar and the cost of doing so. 

How Can Napa Technology Help Me Do What I Love?

A major factor to starting a business, especially a business that specializes in wine, will be incorporating cutting edge technology that provides a sense of care and security for the customer. Like we said before, we specialize in business startups within the beverage industry, so we’d like to take a moment to highlight a recent successful integration of the WineStation that may have helped one local Cincinnati establishment get a leg up on their competition and keep their business afloat.  

After first opening their doors in May 2019, Cincinnati wine bar and store, Emma: Wine With Friends, had the innovative idea to open a retail wine store with a self serve bar where customers could purchase samples, or full glasses, of the wines that were available for purchase in their store. Emma chose the WineStation as their system for cleanly dispensing wine to customers, and made the process possible with only the swipe of a card, which helped cut down on the costs of labor. 

The success was evident and in March, before the whole world was aware of the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis, Emma:Wine With Friends and the WineStation were featured on Cincinnati’s WLWT5 News stating “the self-serve concept is perfect if you’ve been wanting to get out of your comfort zone and try a new wine (and) makes it so you can taste test a brand of wine that might be out of your price range for a whole bottle.”

What Emma gained with the integration of the WineStation was the option of bringing in two separate streams of revenue, wine retail and wine service, which included two different incentives for customers to shop. Surviving the next recession we’re likely to encounter will be about coming up with more ideas like this that sit outside the box. Emma and the WineStations found a way to think outside the box together, and on May 22, 2020 Emma: Wine With Friends reopened her doors to the public.

Surviving and innovating during a pandemic will require careful planning, thorough research and a strong support system. If you’re considering changing the game in wine and wine by the glass sales, then please consider Napa Technology as part of your support system. 

For more information on Napa Tech and the benefits of the WineStation, please contact one of our sales representatives, and for more information on opening a wine bar that will make a profit, download our free checklist, Before the Pour

Like Napa Technology’s CEO Nick Moezidis says, “innovate or die.”