The Pen is Mightier than the Pour

According to a Cornell University study, restaurants can sell more by rewriting their wine lists.

Restaurateurs, food-and-beverage managers, wine stewards and sommeliers all take note: A 2009 Cornell University School of Hospitality research study has identified four key strategies that coincide with higher wine sales in restaurants. In the report, “Wine List Characteristics Associated with Greater Wine Sales,” authors Sybil S.Yang, a Cornell doctoral candidate, and Professor Michael Lynn of the Cornell University School of Hospitality analyzed certain attributes of restaurant wine lists and found that the following four wine list tactics were involved in higher wine sales:

(1) Including the wine list on the food menu

(2) Listing prices without a dollar sign

(3) Listing wines from certain wineries known for their quality

(4) Including “reserve” wines or another special section.

The report was based on a detailed analysis of more than 250 restaurant wine lists, from both chain and independent operators, from across the country. Prepared with the assistance and support of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, the country’s leading wine and spirits distributor and a senior partner of the Center for Hospitality Research at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, the report is available at no charge at: hotelschool. cornell. edu/ research/ chr/ pubs/ reports/ abstract- 15089. html.

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