Addressing each beverage for an event would take several pages to cover and even then, would change with the group and their choices. Instead, let’s head to the bottom line.
The bottom line with beverage, any beverage, is to understand your pour costs. And because wine tends to be an area where planners struggle, both professional and volunteer, let’s pull this cork and discuss.
There are two different scenarios when it comes to understanding your costs and it depends on whether you are purchasing the wine from a venue where you know the invoice cost of the wine or whether you are purchasing the wine, with the venue’s profit already built in and do not have the visibility of what they paid for the case/bottle of wine.
If you are purchasing from a venue and their profit is already built in or you are purchasing at a store and bringing the wine in, you will calculate your costs from your purchase price of the wine bottle. To calculate your pour cost, take your bottle cost and divide it by 25.4 (standard 750 ml wine bottle). This gives you the ounce cost for the wine bottle.
In looking at the above scenarios, note that the per person cost goes from $13 for an entry level wine to $28 per person for a wine that costs $64 on the menu and $18 purchase cost. Only $15 per person difference for a significantly better experience for the guests. And the dollars returned to the bottom line are 3X greater than the entry level wine! For a non-profit gala, the extra income and better guest experience will speak volumes for future events. If you are planning a VIP invitational event, where you are not collecting ticket sales, this information will allow you to make the best budgeting choice for your event beverage.
For an entry level wine choice, consider incorporating one wine serving into the cost of the entrees. It is paid for every time, whether it is used or not. Your margin & profit is enhanced.
Beverages are consumed at every meal served. Whether it is a squeezed glass of orange juice, a freshly made fruit smoothie, an ice cold craft beer, or a batched Margarita — understand the specifics of your beverage and your profits… and management will thank you.
Carolyn M White, CSW, CMHS is a Certified Specialist of Wine & Certified Master Hotel Supplier and the Managing Director, National Accounts at Trinchero Family Estates. With over 45 years in the restaurant industry and a second level Sommelier, Carolyn brings a lot of experience to the table. Comfortable working the line in the back of the house as Chef or training servers and bartenders in the front of the house, her knowledge of restaurants and hotels is extensive and multi-faceted.
Carolyn’s passion lies in identifying and targeting each Chain’s uniqueness and finding opportunities with training programs to increase all beverage sales across the board. Creative, out-of-the-box creative, common sense, and de-snootified training methods have been successful and remembered by servers across the US.
Time and numbers matter, view these tips at www.MidwestMeetings.com/Beverage-Tips