One possible solution to combating wine consumption decline in the on trade…

There are a couple of ways that operators can look to fight against what has been a volume drop in wine consumption, here is one…

Cutting costs: a dangerous game.

For some operators it feels like the most natural route to take in a climate where consumption is dropping. Pent up demand post lockdown will probably see a boom in on-trade consumption after the lockdown, but that will soon level out.

My biggest fear for cost cutting is of course, the potential compromise of the quality.

But as my article with The Buyer suggests, no matter how much house wine costs are slashed, it still won’t be enough to mitigate for consumption after the post lockdown honeymoon period drops off.

Again, the solution must be to work on a premiumisation strategy. How do we take a guest through the wine list, grow their average spend and do it in a way that upholds great service?

A ‘wine confident’ team won’t need to work with a cost-cutting wine list.

If the right approach is taken and you have those legends in the business, they will grow your average spend.

Cost price cutting at the house end is impossible. To be effective pricing would have to come in less than the cost of duty on a bottle- not gonna’ happen!

Dropping costs is an effective way to increase business productivity in other areas. But for the wine category, investing in training, staff and good wines is the only way to thrive.


Harry Crowther, Founder & Legend