The Wine Bar’s Allure: Expanding Its Irresistible Appeal

How to Expand the Allure of your Wine Bar

3 minutes At the wine bar, it’s all about the wine, right? Well, mostly. The allure of a fine vino is definitely irresistible. But a wine bar equipped with inviting amenities — like food, savvy staff, a unique ambiance and even educational classes — can heighten the wine-tasting experience and keep customers coming back. During the last five years, the wine bar industry has grown by 3.8%, resulting in revenues of $2 billion as 2019 dawned, according to IBISWorld. Such growth indicates that with the right product, aesthetic and atmosphere, a wine bar can be successful and profitable. Choosing The Best Wine Ultimately, the success of a wine bar depends on its wine, so choosing carefully is essential. This involves: Identifying quality winemakers, especially smaller, independent and even local, family-run businesses Testing the products of these winemakers Recognizing what’s already on the global market Staying up on trends Knowing the characteristics of grapes and regions Building The Right Wine List The wine list should reflect the fruits of a finely tuned selection and curation process. Thus, the list should: Provide variety — not just in the type of wine, but also in terms of vintage, region and price range. Be easy to read and understand. You should list enough to entice and interest, but not overwhelm. Be finely curated to demonstrate that the wines have been thoughtfully selected and are of high quality. Be organized by category, varietal, style, theme or origin. It also should be rotated regularly so you continually offer something new to try. Offering Compelling Embellishments Wine bar customers want more than the vin ordinaire. They like accoutrements that bring zip and flair to their experience. The following should be at the core of a successful establishment: Knowledgeable staff. A wine bar needs somebody who really knows wine. A sommelier or two can’t hurt. It’s just not sufficient to say a wine is “delicious” when an inquisitive guest queries, so a wine-savvy staff is essential to customer satisfaction. Food. Complementing wine with tasty morsels — seasonal delicacies, desserts and interesting appetizers — is a plus. It adds a taste element that is not only appealing, but also educates customers about wine-food pairings that accentuate flavor all the way around, and elevate the wine-savoring and eating experience. In her Westword article “Ten Things That Can Make a Good Wine Bar a Great Wine Bar,” Kendra Anderson says a great wine bar can simply serve “fantastic finger-food, some salty, some crunchy, some sweet.” She adds that the snacks must serve as the complement to the wine, “not the other way around.” Anderson also recommends simple plates of meats, cheeses, nuts and olives. Glassware. Sure, you can drink wine from anything. However, the vessel – type, size and shape – is imperative to the tasting experience. A wise investment in appropriate glassware — crystal versus glass is an important consideration, for example — for the range of varietals is a must. Ambiance. Think inviting, welcoming and comfortable. For example, wine writer Andrea Frost recommends that a wine bar on a main street should be set back from the thoroughfare, away from the hectic rush outside. It should present with a culture of warmth — wood over metal, for example. The goal is to offer a “sanctuary for aesthetic appreciation” where people slow down, step away from the digital culture and take a moment “to ponder, admire or discuss a glass of wine with company is something closer to important than pleasurable,” Frost says. The atmosphere should be heightened with: Lighting that is aesthetic, but also enables the customer to easily read the wine list and evaluate a wine’s color Furniture and seating that encourage intimate interaction as well as solitude Music that is subtle, yet loud out enough to hear while not deterring from the pleasure of drinking Marketing: It’s Mostly About The Customer The customer should always come first. Consistently putting out a good product is what draws in regulars and helps a wine bar become a fabric of the community. Avoid vapid promotions that don’t generate a steady and loyal customer base. Instead, try to become a staple of the neighborhood community. Consider offering: Happy-hour tastings targeting specific client niches VIP loyalty programs that include special wine tastings where customer favorites become prime “on tap” selections for a time A presentation of wine flights with samples of a wine bar’s favorites Classes that teach about wine in nonacademic ways and are offered during off-peak hours and days   Is your wine bar looking for a POS that integrates with your inventory? Contact a Talus representative today to customize your point of sale system. […]

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How to Increase Average Spend at Your Coffee Shop

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4 minutes Whether you currently run a coffee shop or are researching opening one, you’ve probably discovered that the profit margin on cups of coffee isn’t huge. That is why it often makes more sense to opt for coffee machine hire rather than an outright purchase. Even if your coffee shop charges premium prices, it is tough to make a big profit selling java. That is why it might be wise to diversify. In fact, Peter Baskerville, who has started several restaurants, told Forbes in 2012 that to keep your coffee shop afloat, coffee should account for no more than 40% of weekly sales. This means looking for fresh ways to encourage customers to add a few more items to each transaction. Increasing average spend per customer can be as simple as an extra shot of espresso or a custom flavor. Or, you can boost your income by offering food and merchandise. Get those upsell ideas brewing with these strategies you can put to the test with just a few weeks of preparation.   Offer Add-Ons At The Checkout Counter Successfully marketing add-on items is all about product placement. Make sure you put promotional signage and products as close to the checkout counter as you can to have the biggest impact. For example, many successful coffee shops have a pastry display right next to their point-of-sale system. Gift cards and small snacks also make for items that are easy for customers to grab as an impulse buy.   Make Your Specials Truly Special Specials and discounts are a no-brainer when you’re trying to sell products. The trick is to limit these offers, so they become scarce and extra special. Whether it’s a seasonal latte or a one-of-a-kind branded T-shirt, only offer it in your shop for a few weeks at most. Customers like to treat themselves, especially to an item they won’t be able to get later. Offering short-term specials also gives you a chance to test out new concepts and products. If they boost profits, you can put them on the menu permanently. Consider adding these “limited time only” items to your product line: A barista’s special recipe latte only available for one week or one month Seasonal apparel with your shop’s logo — when you sell out, it’s gone Custom curated coffee-lover gifts for major holidays Weekly food specials like a muffin with seasonal ingredients — only available for two weeks Gift cards with unique limited-edition designs   Mix Up Your Menu There is value to not overwhelming your customers with too many choices. But you can also increase sales by offering some non-coffee items that appeal to people at different times of the day, or to people who aren’t in the mood for a caffeine rush. If you’re open late, think about adding a limited offering of wine and beer to your menu for folks who want to wind down. You can also include evening snacks like a cheese plate or decadent desserts for more add-on potential. For the coffee shop in a family neighborhood, sell a few juices and kid-friendly treats like string cheese and fruit. Health-conscious customers will love those, too. There’s no magic formula for what food and drink additions will boost sales, so test out a few ideas. Think carefully about your audience demographic and what they’re most likely to buy. You can even ask your customers to take a quick survey of what they would like to see added to the menu. Don’t forget to check current sales to see what’s selling best. That can give you insights into different or complementary versions of products that might be a hit.   Promote Loyalty With Branded Merchandise Do you dream of a world where everyone is carrying a coffee cup with your name on it? Make it happen! Selling branded merchandise is a great way to help your best customers be your best marketers while showing off their good taste. Plus, branded merchandise makes them feel like part of a special club for coffee shop regulars. At first, only order small quantities of branded products, so you can see what’s most popular. And remember, limited-time offers are more appealing. Once you see what your regulars are into, add a wider array of products to your branded line. Some of the most popular coffee shop branded items include: Custom coffee mugs for home and travel Hot-and-cold-insulated beverage containers Baseball caps, T-shirts and hoodies DIY coffee-scented air fresheners   Go Slow, And Track Your Efforts Remember that slow and steady wins the race. Don’t go wild and implement all of your ideas at once. Try one at a time as a test to see if it’s effective. Use your POS system to help you track sales, so you’ll know if your new add-ons really add up on your balance sheet. If you need help managing new inventory and monitoring sales, talk to Talus Pay about how our systems can help increase average spend easy for you and your customers. […]

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5 Ways to Successfully Market Your Bakery

TP Blog 04.02.19 Bakery cover

4 minutes Bakery entrepreneurs must compete for customers’ dough. There are about 6,500 retail bakeries operating across the country, according to Dun & Bradstreet. In such a competitive market, a solid marketing strategy should be among the must-have tools of a bakery, along with spatulas, mixers, food processors, and measuring cups and spoons. Here are five ingredients that experts say are essential to successfully marketing a bakery.   (Photo: Samuel Zeller | Unsplash) 1. Generate Buzz Your bakery should set aside 3 to 5% of its sales revenue to pay for local advertising through such outlets as cable TV or newspapers, says Robert Barrows, president of Burlingame, California-based R.M. Barrows Inc. Advertising & Public Relations. “You might also take a look at some local radio stations where you can supply some of your bakery items for snacks to their deejays throughout the day,” in exchange for on-air promotion of your bakery, Barrows says. Rafe Gomez, co-owner of Montclair, New Jersey-based VC Inc. Marketing, offers another buzz-creating method: Donate a portion of your bakery’s one-day sales to a local charity. Gomez says this is a “creative and socially responsible way” to garner free media coverage. Such an event can be promoted via local media outlets, social media channels and email lists, Gomez says. “This idea not only delivers a new stream of revenue for the partner organization,” Gomez says, “but it also positions the bakery as a valuable and contributing member of the community, builds awareness of the bakery in the marketplace, ramps up the search ranking for the bakery, boosts the bakery’s incoming foot traffic and delivers an edge over the bakery’s competitors.”   (Photo: Bernard Hermant | Unsplash) 2. Offer Free Wi-Fi Free Wi-Fi is a “no-brainer” for your bakery, says Tommy Valmeyer, CEO of, a digital marketing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a 2014 survey commissioned by San Francisco-based Devicescape, a provider of wireless software, 62% of the more than 400 U.S. small businesses questioned said customers spent more time at their businesses as a result of installing Wi-Fi. In addition, 50% said Wi-Fi led to an increase in customer spending. Some bakeries offer a complimentary cup of coffee which can lead to more time spent in your bakery and an increase in revenue when a baked good is purchased. Some Wi-Fi services enable businesses to create custom splash or landing pages to attract customers and share in-bakery offers. Furthermore, the name of your Wi-Fi network can become a branding tool, such as “Kathy’s Cakes and Cookies Free Wi-Fi.”   (Photo: Chase Clark | Unsplash) 3. Improve Your Online Visibility A bakery in a midsize-to-large market should strive to boost its search engine optimization (SEO), Valmeyer says. However, a bakery in a smaller market might not need to focus on SEO, as market competition likely is less intense there than in a midsize or large market. You may find that web design and seo are absolutely crucial in helping you to market your business to the best of your ability. A good SEO strategy helps a business to get better results in search engines like Google and Bing. For instance, a bakery in New Orleans might seek to rank highly in online searches for the phrase “Best Bakery in New Orleans.” Ultimately, the goal of stepped-up SEO is to attract more customers. A 2018 survey by found that 55% of small businesses invest in SEO. That means a lot of other businesses are potentially missing an opportunity to draw more customers. If your bakery lacks an SEO strategy, you might hire an SEO consultant or agency. Or, if your bakery doesn’t have enough money to tap outside experience, develop an SEO plan by leaning on in-house talent. In a 2017 survey by Memphis, Tennessee-based digital marketing agency HigherVisibility, just 46% of small businesses indicated they had a budget for SEO services. “While small business marketers seem to understand that SEO is something they need to use, many still fail to implement the correct strategies that will help improve their search rankings,” HigherVisibility concludes.   (Photo: Cory Bouthillette | Unsplash) 4. Offer A Rewards Program A rewards program can be rewarding both for your bakery and your customers. A 2016 global survey by New York City-based The Nielsen Corp., a market research and analysis company, demonstrates the importance of rewards programs, also known as “loyalty programs.” The survey of more than 30,000 consumers found that, all other things being equal, 72% would buy from a retailer with a loyalty program over a retailer without one. “Done well, loyalty programs can help drive more frequent visits and heavier purchasing,” Nielsen says. According to Chicago-based Belly Inc., a provider of digital loyalty programs for brick-and-mortar businesses, the top three goals of a loyalty program are: Getting customers to visit a business more frequently. Keeping customers satisfied. Encouraging first-time customers to return to the business.   Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar became a viral hit thanks to famous products like their “cereal milk” and “crack pie”.(Photo: 5. Become Known For One Outstanding Product One baked good could make your bakery a star, according to Valmeyer. For instance, your bakery might produce and promote “the best cinnamon roll in town,” he says. Of course, if you make a name for your bakery by selling more than one standout product, that’s even better. “The quality of your services and merchandise is one way to help you get consumers to appreciate and believe in what you have to offer,” says.   Could your bakery benefit from a POS system that tracks inventory and can integrate into your loyalty program? Contact Talus Pay for a quote. […]

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Increasing Business Through Wine And Food Pairings

TP Blog WinePairing 2

3 minutes The restaurant industry is ever changing. These days, an “experience-first” mindset is essential to standing out in the crowd. “More and more, guests choose to dine at restaurants for the overall experience, not just great food,” says Aaron , assistant professor of food and beverage management at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business in Ithaca, New York. To that end, food and wine pairings provide guests with a unique experience that can differentiate an establishment from its competition, Adalja says. If you’re looking to increase business and separate from the pack, think seriously about trying out such pairings. Generally, food and wine pairings give chefs and sommeliers the ability to pair dishes and wine together with the intent of enhancing flavor. But these types of pairings also have a deeper purpose for businesses.   How Food And Wine Pairings Can Increase Business  In addition to differentiating your establishment from competition, pairings offer other business-boosting benefits. “Wine pairings provide a unique value to guests dining at your establishment, particularly those who may not be comfortable navigating a lengthy wine list but want a tailored experience,” says Adalja. Pairings, and beverage programs at wine bars generally, allow managers to provide a customized guest experience. Such pairings also mitigate the “risk” that some customers perceive when  purchasing a full bottle of wine, Adalja says. So, while guests may be reluctant to buy a full bottle on its own, they may be more willing to spend on a tailored wine and food experience. In addition, says Adalja, food and wine pairings can be an effective upsell to guests who might otherwise purchase a single glass of wine.   What A Successful Food And Wine Pairing Looks Like It’s important to remember that food and wine pairings are subjective, not an exact science. Something that’s divine to one person may be unpleasant to another. For Adalja, a successful food and wine pairing is one in which each component plays off the other, revealing elements of taste that may not have been apparent in isolation. Simply put, a great pairing is one in which each bite of food makes the guest want to take a sip of wine, and each sip of wine makes the guest want to take a bit of food, he says.   Marketing Food And Wine Pairings  The process of matching food with wine doesn’t end when you select the right pairings for your restaurant. After you have set up your menu, it’s important to get the marketing, of your wine bar, right. Adalja offers some general guidelines around marketing for pairings: Food and wine pairings should appear front and center on the menu. If your establishment features an a la cartemenu, each menu item can include a suggested wine pairing in the description. If the establishment uses a prix fixeor tasting menu, wine pairings should be offered in a similar manner for the entire menu. Just like with their food menu, it’s important for restaurants to refresh their wine pairing options on a regular basis. Overall, when done well, wine pairings can distinguish your establishment from others and help increase business. Just remember to take time when choosing your pairings and enjoy the process of trying the pairings before putting them on your menu. Want to see how your wine bar can save on payment processing today? Contact us and request a FREE QUOTE.       […]

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