The winners of the Institute of Hospitality Education Research Award 2016 at last year’s EuroCHRIE conference in Budapest were Henri Kuokkanen MIH (pictured right) and Carlos da Silva MIH for their research into the future of wine ordering in restaurants
Wine can be a source of great pleasure. Yet consumers may perceive selecting wine a risk, and particularly in restaurants the choice can create stress. The solid reputation of a restaurant eases such concerns when patrons can seek advice from expert staff. When combined perfectly with food, wine elevates a meal experience to a new level. Thus wine selection is an essential component of customer experience, and the assistance a restaurant offers is critical.
A wine steward, or sommelier, acts as a facilitator in wine purchases by providing sensory descriptions of wines. While a sommelier directly boosts wine sales, he or she also indirectly augments wine revenue through better staff training. Customers generally perceive extended interaction with staff positively, generating further benefits from hiring a sommelier.
Employing trained sommeliers inevitably increases costs. In an attempt to enhance customer experience without this cost, some restaurants have replaced traditional paper wine lists with electronic tablets.
Tablets as food menus show promise in enhancing the service experience of a customer by providing extended information, but the potential of combining food and wine orders on tablets has yet to be tested. Tablets are beneficial when customers perceive value in them, and wine suggestions may be included in these tools. Restaurant revenue management may also benefit from the use of technology. However, the special role of wine in creating a dining experience calls for extra attention to how wine itself is presented; it should not merely be treated as a sub-component of the food menu.
To read more (the article The Wine Tablet Experience in the current issue of HQ Magazine, the Institute of Hospitality official publication), click here
For the full research paper, please contact Henri Kuokkanen MIH, research and education, Switzerland, email: firstname.lastname@example.org