As any restaurant and bar owner can attest to, keeping operational and beverage costs in check is a constant struggle. A shrewd owner is always on the lookout for new ways to cut costs, and if wine is on the menu, this solution might be hiding right in plain sight. If wine is ordered with regularity, and also taps are part of the bar setup; then putting wine on tap as kegged wine could really help your bottom line.
As is the case with most anything, the more you buy of it the cheaper it is per unit. With wine, buying it in keg form will be less than buying that same amount in bottles. In recent years higher quality wine is now offered in kegs. As such, inventory management will also become easier. A few kegs is much easier to manage than hundreds of wine bottles.
Once a wine bottle is open, the wine starts to oxidize; which degrades the wine’s flavor and aroma. Hence, greatly decreasing that wine’s shelf life. It’s impossible to predict when another customer will order that wine. So often that remaining wine gets thrown out. Wine that is in a keg is constantly pressurized, preventing oxidation. When the tap is pulled the pressure prevents oxidation from occurring each time the tap is used. Kegged wine is guaranteed to be fresh for six weeks, plenty of time to empty the keg and save all that wine that would have been thrown out.
There are a lot of materials that go into packaging and shipping glass wine bottles. Materials that need to be processed and thrown out once the case of wine bottles arrive. While kegged wine comes in metal durable containers that don’t need any special form of protection. Switching to kegged wine would save you all the man hours breaking down all that material. You can also get the word out that the restaurant is sustainable and has a small carbon footprint. This will attract customers who want to support a business that values sustainability.
While one keg can hold 24 bottles of wine. It might then sound odd that one keg takes up less room than 24 individual bottles, but it’s true. A keg of wine is sturdy, flat on the top and bottom, which allows them to be stacked on the floor. So storing them this way may take up a little bit of floor space but will free up a bunch of shelf space. With that free space, you can buy other products in bulk and save money on them.
Wine on tap is much easier to serve to customers than wine in the bottle. There is an art to wine presentation that can take awhile for a new server to master. While this could be part of the overall experience at a high end, white tablecloth restaurant; it might easily be done away with at a midtear establishment. Hence, less time spent training the server, the quicker that server can work and earn their own tips, the less money spent on-boarding that server.
Just like beer flights, wine flights can help expand the customers’ awareness of new and different wines. When doing wine fights with just bottles the likelihood of beverage waste is increased due to the fact that a bottle may need to be poured out only after pouring just one flight sample from it, instead of a full glass of wine. Kegged wine, on the other hand, would take that increased risk away. Allowing for the ability to create and sell more wine flights.
While there could be some cleaning costs involved in changing over a few beer taps to wine taps, the saving in the long run is well worth it. Wine on tap can provide a unique experience for your customers, allow you to expand your wine and wine flight offerings and not worry about pouring wine down the drain ever again.
As always, we are here to help. Let us know if you have any questions.
Total Merchant Supply is a POS Dealer based in NC & SC.