How to Upsell More Wine at Your Restaurant or Bar

How to Upsell More Wine at Your Restaurant or Bar

Establishing effective upselling techniques for your restaurant will help move more wine, therefore creating more profits and bigger tips. Here are four ways to upsell wine at your business:

#1. Full Bottle Service: Instead of encouraging wine by the glass, train your servers and bartenders to look for opportunities to sell full bottles. If a table orders more than one glass, servers should always offer the full bottle. This will not only get the upsell of a full bottle, but it will also reduce the amount of time servers and bartenders spend refilling glasses. In turn, this will also reduce the number of wine glasses used in a night leading to fewer dirty dishes. 

#2. Open A Dialogue for Suggestions: Opening a dialogue with customers is a big step of a successful upselling process. If servers take a moment to talk about the wine selection, it is easier and more natural to also throw out appetizer and other menu suggestions. This forms a relationship and guests will be more likely to consider those options. With bottle service, servers will have more time to focus on guests and ensure the best experience possible. When they have the best experience possible, they are more likely to come back and bring their friends.

#3 Personalized Service: It is also important to treat each guest as an individual and take the time to listen to what they want. Personalized service will be remembered. If a customer seems unsure about what they want, this is a good time to jump in and make suggestions and try out different upselling examples. This can be an opportunity to suggest food and wine pairings, or even a pricier bottle of wine. Subtly can go a long way though - you do not want your waiters coming off as salesy or pushy. Using descriptive and attractive words can be helpful, as well as understanding your customers budget. Don't try to push wine that is way above their original price point as that may turn them off to all of your suggestions. 

#4 Knowledgeable & Friendly Staff: Overall, effective upselling techniques are going to start at the root - your wait staff. When you have knowledgeable and friendly staff, they are more likely to provide a quality experience that will keep guests at the table longer where they will be more likely to listen to suggestions. It also means there is a better chance they will dine with you again in the future. 

Using Visual Appeal As An Upselling Technique At Your Restaurant

The power of visual appeal can go a long way without customers even consciously realizing it. Having the right wine glasses on the table can strongly influence guests and how they perceive aromas, flavors and the overall experience. Whether the guests walk in and see the elegant glass on the table, or a fellow customer already enjoying a glass, that will help plant the seed you need and encourage an upsell before you even open your mouth. 

Choosing the right wine glasses for your table does not only elevate presentation, but also the perceived value of purchasing a glass of wine. While there is nothing wrong with using inexpensive wine glasses at your restaurant or bar, your guests will be able to tell the difference if you were to spend a little more. The feel of a well-crafted glass is unmistakable – it typically feels sturdier and just has that air of elegance. Starting with the right glassware on the table starts the upselling process before the waiter even arrives at the table. 

How does glassware affect wine service at your restaurant or bar? 

When the waiters are being successful with their their upselling techniques, it is important to stay on track and pour the correct amount every time. That way, customers are getting exactly what they pay for. How you chose to serve wine at your restaurant, bar or hotel can make a big difference in terms of profitability, and as mentioned above, in the upselling techniques based on visual appeal. From over pouring and encouraging repeat business, there are many different tactics that can help your wait staff provide perfect service every time.

Try these solutions to stop the over or under pouring of wine: 

Wine Glasses with Ounces Marked: You do have the option to get wine glasses with 6 or 9 ounce lines marked directly on the glass (like this one) so there will be no measuring or guessing how much wine should be in each pour. It takes away the guesswork and allows for quicker service.

If you do not like the lines marked directly on the glass, you can opt to add a logo or other symbol on the wine glass and have the lines of the design signify ounce markings. That way, you can give your bartenders a visual cue so they will know exactly how much to pour without it being glaringly obvious to your guests. 


Carafe ServiceCarafes not only enhance the presentation and flavors of certain wines, they are also a vessel to help ensure accurate measurements without losing visual appeal. 

Most carafes are constructed so the natural lines and curves of the design will mark certain ounce measurements. Again, this will take away guesswork and will improve service speeds during peak hours of operation. 


How many wine glasses should you buy for your restaurant or bar?

A large part of proper handling and care of your wine glasses is going to come from having enough inventory on hand. Not sure how many wine glasses you are going to need for your restaurant or bar? Here is a simple equation to answer the question of glassware requirements for proper service: 

To determine quantity, multiply the number of seats by the ordering factor listed below: 


What are the best options for wine glasses?

We have a large selection of wine glasses (and a variety of all different types of bar supplies) that will fit into any budget and make upselling that much easier! Need more assistance picking out the right drinkware for you? Contact us today!



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