Monthly Archives: January 2014

Host a Wine Tasting on Valentine’s Day

cheesy_wineValentine’s Day is a busy night for most restaurants and bars. If you’re looking for a way to move beyond the traditional dinner and heart-shaped tasty cake, intoxicate your guests with love and wine. Okay, don’t really intoxicate them with wine…but go forth with the love part. Organizing a wine tasting in your restaurant takes some time to plan, but a successful event can bring in continued business long afterwards. You can host a wine tasting any time during the year, but a Valentine’s Day wine tasting sets a great atmosphere of romance and fun, a recipe for success.

In my opinion, the best days to organize a wine tasting are Friday and Saturday when people can relax and not have to worry about going to work tomorrow morning. This makes 2014 your year since February 14th falls on a Friday!

When you decide to host a wine tasting, you should start by thinking about your typical guests’ drinking habits. Most people drink more when they eat a meal, so you could start after lunch or around dinner time. For Valentine’s Day in particular, I suggest an evening event scheduled with dinner reservations. Print off formal invitations, or market the event on your social media networks to get the word out. You can also hire a Sommelier or work in tandem with your wine distributor if you prefer to have an expert on hand to answer any guest questions.

Keep in mind that the tasting area will likely be crowded so make it practical. Avoid overly perfumed flowers and candles that could mix with the smell of the wine. A nice arrangement of glasses and plated grapes and assorted cheeses are enough.  Don’t forget to stock up on wine glasses. Nothing will ruin a restaurant wine tasting faster than lack of wine glasses. So, if you are serving six wines, that is six glasses per guest. If you have 50 guests, you will need 300 wine glasses for the evening. You may need to buy an extra case or two of glasses.

Finally, create a little ambiance for the evening: have music playing softly in the background, cover the tables with crisp linens, and display cards with the nights wine list. Ready to start planning? Check out Burkett’s wine accessories here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Battle Back Winter with a Promotion

Blizzard Stops BusWinter is here…with a vengeance. Usually, winter in the foodservice industry means one thing: an increase in business. People are cooped up as the days get shorter and daylight wanes away. Eager to escape the cabin fever setting in, many find themselves at a local bar, restaurant, or coffee shop. Combine this with the return of football season and the holidays, and most in the foodservice industry will realize an uptick in business in the coming months.

However, this winter seems particularly harsh with most of the U.S. experiencing temperatures below freezing this week. This bleak weather can have a major impact on your business. Many restaurant owners will experience a sales decrease as a result of people less likely to go out in snow and ice. How can you fight back? The key is to increase foot traffic to your store, regardless of the conditions outside. The best way to do that is through promotions.

Have to close early one day? Offer your customers crummy weather coupons. Did the temperature drop particularly low? Offer delivery service so your customers can enjoy your fare from the comfort of their own homes. When you focus your message through promotion and start to drive foot traffic in, you beat the weather and keep up your revenue flow no matter what is going on outside. Give it a try and let us know how it works out!

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