Rockstar Service – the Do’s and Don’t for Success

Now that we’ve captured your attention on how to increase your tips, let’s uncover a few ways to further leverage your DOMSOM knowledge to make it happen table side.  First and foremost, LISTENING to your customer and observing and understanding their body language provides the foundation for any great wine conversation.  Sales opportunities will vary by table and customer, but here are a few of DOMSOMs favorite ways to enhance the experience for customers while achieving your goal of increasing wine sales:

Kicking off every meal as a celebration:  While not ever meal in a restaurant is to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or special occasion, offering a sparkler or wine aperitif such as a spritz can quickly liven the mood and make for a great meal experience.  A simple question such as “Can I start the table off with a sparkling wine?” can get the conversation started and will give you cues as to whether your guests are in for a longer, relaxing meal or a quick dine and dash.  Using our previous lesson’s crash course in math, a bottle is best for tables of 4 or more (21+ year olds of course!) while By the Glass options meet the mark for smaller parties.  

Leveraging By the Glass when menu selections are varied:  She orders a steak, he orders the sea bass.  Great!  This is your opportunity to introduce each of them to different wine suggestions by the glass if they do not have a mutually agreed option to share by the bottle.  Refer to the DOMSOM White Wine pairings and Red Wine pairings for great recommendations based on the wine list for your establishment.  It’s your turn to shine!

Offer to split a By the Glass order into two glasses:  Many customers want to try new wine or have a White Wine with the first course and a Red Wine with the main course but are conscious about consuming too much wine during the meal.  Offer the option to share the glass by splitting the pour into two separate wine glasses so they can enjoy without the guilt or worry about over-ordering.  Everyone wins – you increase your wine sales and they get to enjoy a guilt-free wine experience!

Be Real. Be Honest. Suggest the best:  WARNING!  CAUTION!  BLARING RED SIREN!  DOMSOM is not suggesting you translate this to only trying to sell the most expensive wine on the list!  What we are saying is focus on selling the BEST wine for the situation taking the cues you have received from your customer into consideration.  For example, if a customer indicates they would like a White Wine in the $60 price range to pair with a creamy fettuccini Alfredo and you know your $65 oaked Chardonnay would be magical versus the $60 Fresh and Crisp Sauvignon Blanc they are considering, be real, be frank and be honest with a simple recommendation such as “I know your desired price is $60 or less, but we have a delicious XXX Chardonnay with ripe fruit, balanced acidity and a creaminess which would pair perfectly with your meal, would you like to consider it instead?”  Better yet, if the Chardonnay is on your By the Glass list, offer to bring them a small sample so they can taste for themselves what your mean!