The Focus and Challenges of a Premium Wine by the Glass Program

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This year, Americans will consume more wine in restaurants than ever before, making Wine by the glass (BTG) programs increasingly more important for a restaurant's success... but properly creating one can prove difficult.

Guests love an elaborate wine by the glass program because it allows for the perfect pairing options for any dish. Restaurateurs love it because it allows them to capitalize on the higher margins associated with piecing out wine by the glass. Nowadays with rising operating costs, any sort of margin growth is greatly needed.

From the iconic Four Seasons Restaurant in New York to Cafe Firenze in Moorpark, CA, upscale dining establishments put significant focus on their wine by the glass program. "Guests' palates are becoming more and more sophisticated and they don't always want to stick to one particular varietal making it tough to offer just bottles," Executive Chef Fabio Viviani explains. "Offering premium wines by the glass at my restaurants allows us to provide the right pairing for whatever the guests may like."

The Restaurateur

wine by the glass
New York Times Bestselling cookbook author, Fabio Viviani uses wine dispensers by WineEmotion for his wine by the glass programs.

Restaurateur, New York Times best-selling cookbook author, and television personality, Fabio Viviani and his Cafe Firenze team understand the importance of their wine by the glass program. It's so essential that he's incorporated a wine dispensing & preservation system by WineEmotion USA. The system guarantees freshness and consistency, two aspects that are tough to achieve in traditional wine by the glass programs.

Viviani is an advocate for debunking the myth that a good wine does not need to be high priced. Of course that doesn't downplay the value of premium price point glasses. Viviani's restaurants offer wines for all price points without sacrificing quality on either end of the spectrum.

"There are many challenges with a premium wine by the glass program. You may not always sell through a bottle in one night, what do you do? The wine must be preserved," Viviani adds. "Other challenges are over-pouring, we are generous with our portions but over-pouring on a regular basis can affect the bottom line significantly."

A wine dispensing system like WineEmotion system used at Viviani's restaurant, limits spoilage by preserving open bottles for up to 30 days. It also eliminates waste by preventing over-pouring, along with beautifully displaying premium bottles with its accent lighting and custom tailored design.

Simplifying the serving process for a detailed BTG program can be challenging and often futile. The automated dispensing feature allows staff to quickly pour glasses in any of the preset variable amounts with the push of a button. This is one of the most valuable assets in Vivani's mind, "Simplicity for my staff is huge."

"We work hard to provide prompt service. The automated dispensing allows my staff to accurately pour a glass of wine with the push of a button. The 3 different volume settings makes it nice for tastings, flights or full glass pours..." and wine tasting events are a staple at Cafe Firenze.

The Beverage Director

wine by the glass
Cafe Firenze in uses the QUATTRO+4 by WineEmotion to serve and preserve its wine by the glass.

Adam Etchegoyen, Beverage Director at Cafe Firenze, believes a strong by the glass program just makes "good business sense" and "WineEmotion was the final piece needed."

For Adam the most important challenge is allowing customers to try a premium or small batch wine before they buy a glass. "Sometimes it's hard to get people to stray out of their comfort zone to try new wines or varietals along with paying upwards of $20 per glass."  Utilizing an automated wine dispensing system allows Adam and his staff to "give my guests a taste of the wine at the proper temperature while painting the picture of where this beautiful wine came from."

Another large focus for Adam is eliminating over-pouring and spoilage especially in the high priced glasses. "Prior to WineEmotion I was uncomfortable selling a $20 glass in fear of lost inventory."

Like all innovations, there is a learning curve. Properly training staff to use these systems pays off big in the end. At one time, POS systems were fought fervently by new users. The old method of passing a ticket to kitchen staff has now become obsolete due to the tremendous advantages of automating the ordering process. Automated wine dispensing & preservation systems are not different.

Typically, customers require ample selection, consistent quality and prompt service.

As the popularity of wine grows, Restaurateurs will continue to enhance their by the glass program to address customers' needs. If they can overcome the obstacles, early adopters will gain a competitive advantage and it's only a matter of time before every establishment has premium wine seamlessly offered by the glass.

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About WineEmotion

WineEmotion is the next generation of wine dispensing and preservation systems created to enhance the passion and experience of fine wine through research and technology. Created by Enomatic inventor and founder Riccardo Gosi, WineEmotion is the latest advancement of Gosi’s original world-renowned design. WineEmotion advances how wine is sold and served by eliminating spoilage, perfectly measuring pours, and serving at precise temperatures to enhance the customer experience while driving profits for business owners as a marketing and management tool.

WineEmotion USA is the exclusive U.S. importer of the WineEmotion line of wine dispensing systems, available directly through the manufacturer. Formed in 2012, WineEmotion USA is a partnership between WineEmotion S.p.A. and Rinaldini Distribution, Inc. For more information, contact WineEmotion USA at 800.671.3317 or online at WineEmotionUSA.com.

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