Better, more knowledgeable buyers tend to spend more, but they often need help doing so.
Who hasn’t looked at a restaurant wine list, and then thought it’d be nice to have the Wine Spectator articles (or a similar resource) on those 2 or 3 bottles you’re trying to choose between?
Until recently, restaurants would have a hard time doing this, if nothing else for logistical reasons.
Bone’s Steakhouse in Atlanta went one better, creating iPad-based winelists.…and increased sales by 25%.
They invested in 30 iPads and custom software in order to sell more (and better) wine.
Even smartphone toting patrons with Wine Spectator’s VintageChart+ app on their iPhone don’t have the details at their fingertips that would help a novice (or even moderately experienced) wine lover make a great choice.
While the VintageChart+ app can tell you whether or not the vintage on the list is a good choice, it currently shows nothing about the winery, the wine, reviews or any other details.
I expect WineSpectator will be leveraging that app or companion apps for a long while.
Sitting with GaryVee
Your method doesn’t have to be quite as fancy or technology-oriented as Bone’s, but it could be.
It might be your favorite wine expert and a bucket. That’s what wine retailer Gary Vaynerchuk does on his show, Wine Library TV.
In his case, the education he provides is intended to produce a better wine buyer, and of course prompt a retail purchase. You get his fun, gregarious personality as a bonus. After watching one show, who wouldn’t want to sit down with Gary and taste some wine?
That’s almost what WineLibraryTV allows you to do.
Where Bone’s might be heading
Imagine if the iPad app linked to a clip @garyvee‘s show that talked about that wine?Â And the app went from there, providing links to Parker’s coverage of the wine, links to the winery’s website and info on the vintner and vintage, Wine Spectator reviews and so on.
I haven’t seen the Bone’s iPad app, but I suspect it gives the diner info of this nature so they can make a better choice when selecting a wine.
Now, with that in mind, how can you help your customers become better buyers?
PS: Think about how you’d feel at another restaurant when presented with a typical paper wine list (even if bound elegantly, etc), after having experienced what Bone’s offers. This isn’t just about selling more and better wine.