The fine dining restaurant business is sustained by the level of sales that it can generate. Sommeliers play a major role given that a large proportion of a restaurant’s turnover depends on the beverages they handle. Nevertheless, it would be mistaken to believe that a sommelier has an autonomous role in the restaurant. Without equipment, structure and organisational resources, a sommelier would be unable to sell even a drop of wine. Marketing is another fundamental that generates sales, acting to interpret the needs of customers and produce an offer with which to satisfy them.
Most sales are carried out directly, by talking to the customer and understanding their requirements. A sale may not necessarily be a triumph: one can make a good sale, a bad sale or even a terrible sale. It all depends on the approach, empathy and character of the salesperson.
This chapter outlines various examples and cases, offering recommendations for monitoring and analysing sales efficiently. The art of calculating and obtaining restaurant sales prices suitable for a given business is another key point in this section. Finally, we consider the creation of menus, allowing a sommelier to increase the value of the bottles sold. The topic of wine sales by the glass is also addressed in depth.