The holiday season gives many consumers an annual incentive to treat themselves and their loved ones to upscale gifts and experiences, and holiday spending at restaurants is no exception.
Compounding current trends toward premiumization, the upcoming holidays will give diners a reason to indulge—especially after most reluctantly spent last year’s holidays at home. This presents restaurant operators with a golden opportunity to drive sales and expand check averages, especially in the alcohol category; pouring higher-quality wines, for example, can be a boon to margins and can enhance consumers’ experiences overall.
Still, operational obstacles and supply-chain challenges are a reality many restaurateurs continue to face. Fortunately, key technologies can help keep waste low and profits high.
While planning for the holiday season, operators will need to consider several variables as they make buying decisions for their wine lists.
According to Technomic’s Oct. 2021 Behind the Bar Insights report, 37% of restaurant beverage decision-makers say they’re experiencing challenges with high product prices and/or limited product availability from suppliers. A majority—62%—say they’re unable to offer their full drink menu due to procurement issues, and 44% say they’ve had to increase drink prices in their restaurants.
Some have seen consequences of these challenges trickle down to affect diner experiences; more than one-third of beverage decision-makers say that, between issues with drink availability and rising prices, they’ve seen lower customer satisfaction.
Beyond inconsistencies in supply, unpredictable levels in demand are another factor to consider; operators may be wary of opening high-end wines and running the risk of the bottle losing freshness before it can be served in its entirety. Waste prevention is key to maintaining the bottom line.
So how can operators make the most of holiday premiumization while keeping costs in check?
Eliminate waste and preserve wine quality with Coravin
By adding Coravin wine preservation solutions to their service protocol, operators can sidestep the issue of opened wines losing freshness and going to waste entirely. Amid efforts to cut costs and navigate inconsistent supply and unpredictable demand, restaurateurs and beverage directors need not downgrade or downside their holiday wine lists. With Coravin solutions, restaurants can serve the wines their guests want—not just what’s open—and freely explore food pairings, flight offerings and wine cocktails that dazzle without letting a drop go to waste.
Coravin wine preservation systems ensure that the last glass tastes as good as the first by preserving opened wines for weeks, months or even years, depending on which system is used. For instance, Coravin Pivot™ systems preserve wine for up to four weeks by replacing the cork or screw top with a specially designed stopper and pouring through the device to minimize the amount of oxygen that gets into the bottle.
Coravin Timeless systems take preservation to the next level, allowing restaurants to pour from a bottle without pulling the cork at all—a needle inserted through the natural cork closure allows restaurants to keep the remaining bottle for weeks, months or years after the first pour.
Both the Pivot and the Timeless models feature an optional Aerator attachment that breaks the single wine stream into 30 different streams while it’s being poured to accelerate the aeration process, delivering a smoother, more aromatic glass of wine in seconds instead of decanting for an hour or more. As an added bonus, using the Aerator attachment means that the wine will be enjoyed at the perfect temperature, instead of sitting for too long.
To better support the restaurant business, Coravin has developed an innovative professional series with the Pivot™ and Timeless Three systems that boast a 30% larger Coravin Pure™ Argon Capsule and comes with a replenishment kit that limits the admin work on inventory day: every four months, replacement capsules, needles, stoppers, or screw caps are replenished.
Beyond still wine, the company just launched the Coravin Sparkling™ Wine Preservation System, just in time for serving holiday standbys such as champagne, prosecco, cava and other sparkling wines. This latest innovation has garnered Coravin the “Innovator of the Year” Wine Star Award by Wine Enthusiast and earned the company the title of “Official Preservation Partner of Moët Hennessy Champagnes.”
Some operators have already taken notice of the benefits and profitability these systems provide. Daniel Johnnes, wine director for The Dinex Group (Daniel Boulud’s management company operating 15 restaurants) recently shared on an industry webinar his Coravin by-the-glass profitability calculator. “Now, this is a true story, in a one-week period at the Daniel restaurants, we sold 886 glasses of wine, which is 147 bottles. The revenue on those glasses totaled $18,216. Now, each of those 886 glasses had four ounces of wine (3,544 ounces in total), which accounted for $5.14 in revenue per ounce. At the end of the night, if those bottles were mismanaged and two ounces were leftover without using Coravin, they wouldn’t be serviceable the next day because of oxidation. Consider this, two ounces of 147 bottles is 294 ounces. Multiply that by $5.14/ounce of lost revenue and that comes to $1,511.16 of unrealized revenue per week. $1,511.16 lost revenue multiplied by 52 weeks equals $78,580 a year—that’s a salary!” Daniel noted. “It’s incredible that Coravin is preserving even that last glass that would typically get dumped down the drain. Coravin has made my by-the-glass program not only more profitable, but it’s made our restaurants a wine destination as we are able to offer so many wines by the glass.”
To learn how to incorporate Coravin products to deliver showstopping holiday experiences while improving wine program profitability, click here.
This post is sponsored by Coravin