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5 things to know about setting the right prices on your wine list

Updated January 17, 2023

Pricing is critical to the sustainability of your business. It allows you to establish a margin on your sales, but also to challenge the competition: after the grape variety, the price of a wine is the second criterion of choice for customers. Les Grappes offers you some advice on how to set the price of yourwine list. We will discuss both prices by the bottle and by the glass, as this practice is becoming more widespread.

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4 elements to take into account when setting the prices of your wine list

1. The complementarity of wines

First of all, you must consider the logic of your wine list. It must offer a certain complementarity in its prices by mixing high-end wines and more accessible wines.

Try to propose a low-priced offer to accompany the lunch formulas for example. One or two glasses of your menu should be compatible with these formulas. Also propose some more expensive wines, perhaps more appreciated, to give panache to your menu and arouse the greed of your customers with quality wines.

To give you an idea:

  • A restaurant with an average bill of around 15 € will offer wines by the glass between 4,50 € and 7,50 €.
  • A restaurant with an average ticket around 25 € TTC will propose wines by the glass between 7,50 € and 12 €.
  • A restaurant with an average bill of around €40 will offer wines by the glass between €12 and €20

Finally, this logic is not reserved to your wine list: there must be a coherence between the prices of your wines and those of the dishes on your menu.

2. The quality-price ratio

To determine the prices of your menu, you must obviously take into consideration the quality of the products you offer. This is determined by the following elements:

  • The region of production of the wine, the terroir from which the wine comes
  • The domain, which allows you to identify the rarity of the wine, the originality of its flavors: a château from a large domain is a high-end wine and will therefore be more expensive
  • The vintage: a wine from an exceptional year deserves an exceptional price!
  • The production method: a wine produced by organic viticulture will be more expensive than a wine produced by conventional agriculture, because it generally requires more work for lower yields.

3. Customer demand

Wine consumption trends are changing and your menu should reflect this.

In recent years, there has been a tendency to consume "less but better", especially among the younger generations. Environmental labels are more and more appreciated: 53% of French customers say they are ready to pay more for a labeled wine. The certified organic winescertified wines, in particular, are increasingly popular.

At the same time, the demand for wines from winegrowers is growing. This demand is a reflection of more ethical consumption, which includes fairer remuneration for the winemakers. Customers are often willing to pay more for a wine that has a real story: the story of those who make it!

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4. The cost of your wines

For your restaurant to be profitable, you must make a margin. To put it simply, the selling price of your products, excluding taxes, must be higher than what they cost you.

To calculate your margin, you must first calculate your cost price, which is the total amount spent to make your products available.

The cost of goods sold is made up of the following elements

  • purchase and supplycosts: purchase price and additional costs for delivery or transport, storage, etc.
  • Indirect costs: service, rent, insurance... these costs are indirect because they are not directly linked to the availability of your wines, but they are part of your expenses and must therefore be included in the cost price of your various products sold.

The right calculation to fix the price of your wines

Once you have all these elements in mind, it is time to set your selling price. It must be higher than the cost price in order to make a margin and make your business profitable.

In other words: selling price = cost price + margin.

The multiplier method

To set your selling prices, you can use the multiplier method. It consists in multiplying your purchase price before tax by a coefficient, to obtain the selling price including tax.

For bottled wine, the multiplication coefficient corresponds on average to 4.5. Thus, a bottle of wine bought at €5 before tax will be resold with a coefficient of 4.5 to customers at €27 including tax: (5 x 4.5) x 1.2(taxes) = €27 including tax.

Note that the higher the purchase price before tax, the lower your multiplier coefficient. For example, for a bottle of wine bought for 20€, the multiplier will be 3. The selling price to the customers will be (20 x 3) x 1,2(taxes) = 72 € TTC.

What about wine by the glass?

For wine by the glass, the calculation is simple: one bottle can serve 6 glasses of 12 cl. It is generally advisable toincrease the price by 5 to 10% compared to the price of the bottle: this way, customers are encouraged to order wine by the bottle instead. To come back to our example of a bottle at 27 € TTC, we can therefore define a selling price per glass between 4.7 € and 4.95 € TTC.

Now that you have the average selling price of the wine, you must also take into account in your price the proposals of the competition, and choose either to align yourself with the prices, or to distinguish yourself by selling more or less expensive your products.

In conclusion, the ideal price has the following characteristics: it must be accessible to your target audience, take into consideration the competition, and be profitable for your business.

Do you know how to price your wine list? To make sure you don't make a mistake, consult the the top 10 mistakes not to make on your wine list !

Do you need help?

Les GrappesLes Grappes, the French leader in direct wine distribution to professionals, makes it easy to buy wine directly from the winemakers. Les Grappes centralizes the orders of more than 1,200 winegrowers with a single point of contact, from ordering to billing. We accompany cafés, hotels, restaurants, wine cellars in their choice of wines, but also in the realization of customized wine lists! According to your project, your tastes and your budget, we help you to choose the best wines in short circuit. To be put in contact with our team,click here!

Restaurants, Bars, Hotels: we accompany you for your wine list!

Les GrappesLes Grappes, the French leader in the distribution of wine directly from the winemaker to professionals, facilitates the purchase of wine directly from the winemakers.

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