Sell better wine and make more profit
The Saddle Room Restaurant, Coverdale
The Saddle Room is a new restaurant that features a fabulous wine cellar and bar area. The restaurant was converted from racehorse stables and is split into five sections, offering the same high quality menu throughout.As well as the Hayloft private dining area and the Chef’s Table, there is the informal Tack Room and The Saddle Room itself with its playful wine-chilling buckets
Finding the quality balance is critical; customers should not leave a meal saying, ‘Great food but the wine was ordinary’.
Getting consumers to work their way up a wine list with confidence is always a difficult task. In my experience, using a gross profit (GP) margin across the entire wine list results in customers defaulting to what they know and staying with entry-level wines.
Here at The Saddle Room, we have opted for a combined GP and cash margin approach. For our entry-level wines, we apply a GP margin to calculate the wine’s sell-out price. However, for anything that costs us over about £5 we adopt a cash margin approach, which varies in price bands.
Our aim, whilst being totally consumer focused, makes wine a valuable profit centre for the restaurant; as our guests choose to drink better quality wines recognising the value they offer.
I have experienced most areas of the wine trade and have completed a full circle. I starting in East Sussex working for Ronan Seyburn, now a Master Sommelier, then moved into wine sales in central London; time spent selling some major wine brands was followed by me working almost alone as a wine agent. I am now back as a restaurateur, utilising the experience for my own business. I feel very lucky as I have been able to travel and have visited many wineries and dealt with different types of outlets in the UK.
After investing time, money and effort finding a great chef for our business, a finalist from the professional Masterchef competition, making sure the quality of wines served with his food came next. Adopting a sensible, progressive approach to pricing wine has achieved this, delivering fine wines to our customers’ tables and a healthy cash margin to the business.
If you have any questions regarding your wine selection and pricing please speak to your account manager.