Pair Wine with Desserts for Increased Sales

Mar 6, 2016 | Training

After-dinner drinks are great ways to bump up bar profits, but what about the guest who says, “I don’t do the hard stuff” and turns down the Irish Coffee, White Russian, or  Grasshopper? You can still profit from after-dinner drink sales by training your waitstaff to suggest wine with desserts. An effective restaurant training program that includes role-playing on how to pair wine with desserts will increase sales, improve service, and earn servers more tips. Check it out:

Server: Our specialty dessert tonight is a six-layer chocolate cake with mocha filling and fudge icing. Does that sound good?

Guest: Yes, I’ll try it with some coffee.

Server: Great! We also have a wonderful, dry Cabernet that goes perfectly with chocolate and coffee. Would you like try a glass?

Guest: OK!

Server, to guest: Which dessert can I bring you?

Guest: Everything just looks too rich for me. Thanks, anyway.

Server: How about some fresh fruit and some sparkling wine? It tastes great together, especially with our fresh strawberries. It’s light and sweet and a perfect finish!

Guest: Sounds perfect!

Role-playing is a great way to make sure the product knowledge and sales techniques you covered in your training sessions make their way into practice during a real shift.

More Ways to Increase Wine Sales

When you train servers to pair wine with desserts, you’ll sell more wine than you do to guests who just order wine with dinner. As managers, there’s a lot you can do to increase wine sales in your restaurant. Here are a few ideas:

  • Implement a “Pre-sell” policy on bottles of wine or champagne. When guests call to make a reservation, train your staff to say something like, “You’d like to make a reservation for 10 for your company party? Great! Would you like a bottle of champagne chilling for you at your table when you arrive?”
  • Make sure your bartenders and servers have good sales props, such as wine lists, menus, and table tents. Train hosts and hostesses to point out wine and champagne selections on the menu as they seat every guest with dialogue such as “We have a great variety of wine. Our featured selection this evening is the Cabernet Sauvignon.”
  • Some servers will avoid suggesting wine simply because they’re afraid to open the bottle. Take the time to train servers on how to properly open and pour wine. As their confidence increases, so will your sales!

How to Sell More Desserts Training

The most effective way to increase restaurant sales is through suggesting and selling extras such as desserts and appetizers. Our How to Sell More Appetizers & Desserts restaurant sales training course offers specific strategies and example dialogue to help servers provide better service, raise check averages, and increase tips. Click here to learn more.

Never miss an article. Subscribe to RTO’s Blog

Learn More About RTO’s Complete Training Solution.