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?

The secret of a good establishment's success would undoubtedly be impeccable service. Indeed your servers are the only intermediary between your products and the customers. As far as the dishes are concerned, but also as far as the wines are concerned, your waiters must be irreproachable as regards the service. Let's not forget that wine service is the ultimate mediation between producers, retailers, restaurateurs and consumers, so Les Grappes offers you through this article some advice to train your waiters in the sale and service of wine. All you need to perfect the service in your establishment!

The server is also a seller

To improve your service, and thus promote your products, encourage your waiters to advertise your wines with care.
Indeed their care is to propose wines to the customers, to convince them of the value of the wines of 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 the sale of these wines. The waiter can give advice or details about the wines on offer. To do so, he must identify the customer's needs, but also make him want them.
To do this they must know both the wine list and the dishes in order to be able to propose food and wine pairings. You can also propose a selection of wines on a slate, which the waiter will rent to his customers. Also, your waiters must be able to present the wines on the menu, praising the merits, to increase the chances of sales.

That's why he has to keep up to date with the dishes of the day, the evolution of the stock...

It is therefore up to the waiter to advertise your establishment's products. It is not only mastery but also taste that he must show in front of the table: he must persuade the customers and testify of 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 winemaking, especially the choice of grape varieties, the harvest, the origin of the wine and the particularities of taste should have no secrets for him.

Take care of the presentation

Then, the waiters must be up to date on the presentation of the wine products, that is to say, they must take care of the appearance and the service of the products. Here are the service's fans:

The routing of the bottle as well as its opening at the table must be controlled. The bottle must be presented at the table. Also, great attention must be paid to the choice of glasses. These vary according to the wine served.
To help you in this part, we suggest you to refer to this article intended for the service of wines in the restaurant:
How to serve wine well in a restaurant

Then, the serving temperature of the wine must be respected. You must ensure that the bottle maintains an ideal serving temperature, for example by modulating it with ice trays. Little tip: see our article on wine serving temperature!

The service of the wine

After opening the bottle, comes the service, which is also very codified. The service is the last step for the waiter and comes down to a golden rule: no empty glasses.

But first of all, after opening the bottle, the waiter must let the person who ordered the bottle taste the wine, then wait for his agreement to serve the other guests. Be careful not to forget to serve again the one who has tasted. The ladies must always be the first to be served.

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 has to fill the glasses: half full for red wines, one third full for white wines. Once the wine has been served, in order to raise the bottle, he has to swivel it over the glass. Then the neck should be wiped off and the next customer should be served.

The golden rules

Some last tips to perfect the service...
Above all, always make sure:

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

Finally, your waiters 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, since your waiters will be the showcase of the restaurant, and they are the ones who must, for the most part, build customer loyalty and solve these kinds of problems. This is one of the qualities of salesman that the waiter must make his own.

Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky for Les Grappes

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