Serving wine is often met with being intimidated as the genre specifically addresses a wide variety of beverages that need knowledge and proper conduct. If your servers lack the confidence of serving and recommending wine, they need to undergo an amiable wine-learning experience. The questions you want to focus on are what is on the menu and if it is in stock, what food goes best with certain wines, how to share wine knowledge with the customers, and lastly, how to serve wine with grace. Acing this basic dilemma could help servers progress with intelligence. Here are the seven most effective teaching ways to dispel your servers’ incompetency:
Never deprive your staff of the tasting notes that come with wines written by different independent reviewers and wineries. Encouraging them to read these tasting notes in spare time is an excellent way to make them more articulate and elegant in their wine descriptions. Tasting notes should be enough for your staff to recommend wines better. For instance, if your bestseller is not currently in stock, your staff could recommend its closest varietal to the customers.
There is nothing more embarrassing than a staff faltering at a wine’s pronunciation only to become a figure of ridicule in front of the customers. Teach your staff about wine pronunciation attentively as some of the European vineyards have a challenging combination of letters.
The pairing of food and wine
This is the prime factor that determines how well your staff is with his/her service. They need to know which food goes best with chardonnay, Jurançon, Gaillac or Bourgogne. Since wine and food pairings require extensive knowledge, try conducting wine discussions with your staff. Instead of only teaching them about the best wine and food pairings, tell them about the worst ones too. This would give them an idea what to steer clear from in order to avoid disasters.
Regular wine tastings
Amidst the whirl of serving wines to a variety of customers every day, your staff could mix up wine knowledge. Teach your staff about wine through regular wine tastings to revive their sense of smell and taste. Stress on the pairings and the food items as well and have them fill out a test sheet to maintain their performance record.
Label your dishes and wines
An excellent teacher should make the learning process easier for his students. Your staff could get overwhelmed or confused by the name of the European vineyards, which is why you should categorize wines and dishes. Tell them if “rich” and “creamy” dishes go with “full-bodied” or “aromatic” wines. This method helps engrave categories into your staff’s mind so that they remember pairings better.
Encourage them to form a palate
Regular wine tasting sessions, quizzes and tasting notes would help them with wine knowledge considerably. This would not only propel them to sell more wine but also help them form a palate of their own. Having personal favourites show that your staff knows the ropes of their service ensuring a professional image of the restaurant in front of a guest.
Invite the suppliers
Suppliers are always looking for a healthy promotion. They are an outstanding source of wine knowledge and having them divulge details about wine to your staff could broaden their perspective. Invite them to wine tastings occasionally or encourage your staff to maintain an amicable relationship with them.
Teaching your staff about wine should be regular because not one menu remains the same forever. Especially, during occasions or celebrations, many restaurants modify their menus or have separate menus altogether. Keep the wine team close and record your staff’s performance consistently.