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CHAPTER 3

THE RESTAURANT AS AN ENTERPRISE

It would be great fun to be a sommelier at liberty to stroll around the restaurant with no responsibilities other than recommending the most exciting bottles of wine. Unfortunately, the job is nothing like this in reality. A restaurant is a business that needs to make money and that closes if unprofitable. A sommelier must understand this fact, or they would have a mistaken vision of their role and professional imperatives.

An understanding of the working environment and complexity of a business is based on certain business concepts. Among these are: clarity about the company’s mission or vision, a consideration of the factors for risk and success, the creation of a business model and a business plan, the drawing up of strategies to achieve business objectives, the creation of a brand and maintenance of the operating account, and attention to the day-to-day running of the business. Without knowledge of these aspects of managing an enterprise, the sommelier would find it a challenge to be effective and productive. Furthermore, this chapter offers indispensable advice for sommeliers with ambitions of starting their own projects, becoming entrepreneurs and acquiring important new responsibilities.

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