With the festive season fast approaching, now’s the time to start thinking about ways you can capitalise on the bustling trading period and boost your sales. Follow these eight tips to ensure you’ve got all your bases covered.
If you don’t have it, you can’t sell it. Christmas is the best time to stretch your premium range and increase your price points for by-the-glass listings. Look at cash margin for premium wines to get them activated. Once you’ve selected your more premium offering, you can email this out to customers for group bookings, which allows you to plan for what you’ll be selling.
Staff are your most important asset. During this peak period, ensure they’re energised and motivated, as this will keep them engaging with customers. Staff incentives and spot prizes are always a good start.
Training is also key. Roll out training sessions with your team in October to ensure they’re all aligned with what the business wants to sell during the Christmas period. Remember to educate them on the full suite of wines and other beverages, and help them perfect the single-sentence up-sell/add-on – it will drive great sales at this time of year. “‘Can I get you a G&T/cocktail/glass of fizz whilst you look at the menu?” asked when seating a table is very effective.
Consider whether a drinks package at a set price would fit your venue. This can be fantastic way to encourage patrons to explore the breadth of your list, and branch out into things like fizz on arrival and apéritifs. For the consumer, it’s also appealing as it means the logistics and financials are already taken care of, meaning they can relax and enjoy the experience.
Tap into what’s hot in the world of wine. Consumer trends show that Sauvignon Blanc, Rioja, Malbec, Prosecco and Provençal Rosé have big followings in the UK market, so we’d recommend you have a least one option from each of these categories on the list. A couple we’d recommend include:
El Mago Organic Rosé, Franck Massard
If you’ve got bigger groups of customers coming through the doors, ensure you’ve got a magnum list ready to go. Voluptuous large format bottles add theatre to any occasion, especially during the festive season when customers are looking for that extra special something.
Customers will be looking at splashing out during the season, so having a couple of apéritif serves listed at the top of a food menu is a great way to appeal to these sensibilities. Having something like an Aperol Spritz, sparkling cocktail, or even Champagne and Prosecco listed will catch their eye, and increase the chances of a sale. Remember, anything bubbly is generally associated with good cheer and celebration.
If you have dessert wines and digestifs, ensure that they are presented at the same time as the dessert menu and good pairings are actively recommended. It’s also worth considering creating a bespoke rum or whiskey list – 12 days of Christmas, with 12 spirits on the list, for example. In particular, Dark Rum is a category in growth, and winter sees people naturally moving towards darker spirits.
In certain areas of the UK it’s important to be prepared for the weather, and make sure you’re stocked up for any transport issues that may arise because of it. It’s best to increase your par levels in November and run the stock through in December. There’s nothing worse than missing a sale because you’ve run out of something the customer’s ordered.