In the 15th arrondissement, very close to the station, the restaurant of Novotel Montparnasse: "La Halle Quatre", takes you on a journey before you even get on the train. To cross the doors of this establishment is to set foot in the South-West of France, thanks to its 100% regional products menu. The work undertaken in the hotel a year ago made it possible to rethink the entire catering concept. In view of the hotel's location, this new identity has naturally turned towards the typical products of the South-West regions," says Valentin, the restaurant manager with whom we spoke. "We took it to heart to go and get products in these regions, directly from small producers to simply offer very good products, little known but which have a real soul, character".
"For several years now, the Novotel brand has had the ambition to give back a strong identity to each of its restaurants. We no longer want to be a hotel restaurant but a restaurant in its own right. In the past, everything was standardized, the Novotel de France received the same card. The choice of wines was made at the Accor headquarters. De facto, the wines were ordered from the referenced suppliers. With the change in policy, the teams in Hall Four were able to create a wine list that resembles them, by offering their customers wines they are not used to drinking. This freedom of selection made it possible to identify three main needs:
Representing more than 15% of sales in Hall Four, wine is an important element for the restaurant. With Les Grappes, Valentin was able to train his team very easily in the sale of the products he selected. The fact that its waiters know how to talk about the wines they offer to customers, describe the aromas and be able to guide them towards simple food and wine combinations is indeed decisive in the sale of bottles. Thus, having wines with unique stories and original tastes was very important to him and was decisive in his choice of supplier.
"Today customers really want to get advice on what they eat, they ask us what goes best with the dish they have chosen, compare our different wines and look for an accompaniment, so we need a few key words"
Valentin confided in us: "I really enjoyed the support in the selection, even more so in front of the wide choice of references available on the site. We are dealing with real experts who know perfectly well the wines they offer. As soon as we express our need, we are directed towards appropriate references". The selection assistance was very important for Valentin who, after having shared his project with the Les Grappes team "I asked Emma[wine expert Les Grappes] for a selection of Western wines of several types: I wanted white and red a little more premium. I had also told him of my desire to offer original wines to my customers and from small producers"
The opinions of community members and technical data sheets were also a valuable and determining factor in his choice to work with Les Grappes. "The site is very well made to easily find the product you want. The fact that there were opinions and ratings on the references was a real plus so as not to make mistakes.
One of Valentin's wishes when defining the new concept of the restaurant was to highlight the work of small winegrowers. Knowing and controlling the origin of the products it offers to its customers is a guarantee of quality. "Having wines that are not present everywhere is also very appreciable, I didn't want the wine multinationals but on the contrary the small producers who offer surprising wines". With Les Grappes PRO, Valentin has direct access to a catalogue of winegrowers, a real time saver for him.
"We were committed to creating a wine list that would look like us and that we could appropriate.".
A convinced team has a direct impact on wine sales and customer satisfaction. As soon as a product is presented and "told", customers can more easily provide feedback and comments: "People are curious, they like to be offered new products and they are sensitive to the direct producer approach".
Valentin explains that when he presents two wines on his list, a well-known brand and a harvesting wine, consumers move more frequently towards discovery if it is well brought... On the Halle wine list, for example, you can find the Egiategia estate, which vinifies its wines in the heart of the Bay of Saint-Jean de Luz in vats 15 metres below the surface underwater, or the Château les Graves de Viaud, which practices biodynamic agriculture in the Bordeaux region.