Nos conseils aux professionnels - Comment former ses serveurs à la vente et au service de vin ? - Les Grappes

How do you train your waiters to sell and serve wine?

Updated December 6, 2022

The secret to a successful establishment is probably impeccable service. Your waiters are the only intermediary between your products and the customers. Whether it is to serve your dishes or your wines, your waiters must be impeccable. In this article, Les Grappes offers you some advice on how to train your waiters to sell and serve wine. What to perfect the service in your establishment!

The waiter is also a salesman

To improve your service and promote your products, encourage your waiters to advertise your wines carefully. It's not just about offering wines to customers, but also about convincing them of the value of the wines in your cellar.

It is also up to the waiter to make original proposals to his customers: he can promote rare or original products, in order to increase sales. The waiter can give advice or details about the wines offered. To do this, he must identify the customer's needs and also make him want to try the wines.

It is therefore necessary to know at your fingertips the wine list and the temperature of the dishes, to be able to offerfood and wine pairings to the customers, but also to be aware of the dishes of the day, of the changes in the stock...

You can also propose a selection of wines on a slate, which the waiter will present to the customers. Your waiters must be able to present the wines on the list and praise their merits, to increase the chances of a sale.

It is the waiter's job to advertise the products of your establishment. He must show mastery but also taste in front of the table: he must persuade the customers and show his taste for oenology. Indeed, a waiter must master the codes, and will be better if he is passionate about it. Thus, the art of wine making, notably the choice of grape varieties, the harvest, the origin of the wine and the particularities of the taste should have no secret for him.

Take care of the presentation

Your restaurant's servers must be well versed in the presentation of wine products, i.e. the appearance and service of the products. Here are the essentials of service:

  • The routing of the bottle as well as itsopening at the table must be mastered. The bottle must be presented at the table. Great attention must also be paid to the choice of glasses. These vary according to the wine served. To help you, we suggest you refer to this article on wine service in restaurants:
    How to serve wine in a restaurant
  • The serving temperature of the wine must be respected. You have to make sure that the bottle keeps an ideal temperature for serving, by modulating it for example with ice cube trays. A little tip: see our article onthe temperature of wine service!

The service of wine

After the opening of the bottle comes the service, which is also very codified. It is the last step for the waiter and is summed up in one golden rule: no empty glass.

First of all, after opening the bottle, the waiter must make the person who ordered the wine taste it, then wait for his agreement before serving the other guests (it is customary to serve ladies first). Be careful not to forget to serve again the one who tasted.

To fill a glass, the waiter must be on the right of the customer, holding the bottle in his hand, taking care not to hide the label. Then he must fill the glasses: halfway for red wines, a third for white wines. Once the wine has been served, to raise the bottle, he must rotate it above the glass. Then he should wipe the neck and serve the next customer.

The golden rules

A few last tips to perfect the service in your establishment. Above all, make sure you always :

  • Serve the wine before the dish it accompanies;
  • Open all bottles ordered at the beginning of the service;
  • Serve more wine before clearing a dish;
  • And of course follow the service so that the glasses are never empty.

Finally, your servers must be prepared to win back customers who are dissatisfied or disappointed with the quality of the wine. This is a major issue for you, as your servers will be the storefront of the restaurant, and they are the ones who are largely responsible for retaining customers, and resolving such issues. This is one of the sales qualities that the waiter must acquire.

Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky for Les Grappes

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