If you’re considering opening a tasting room at your establishment, there are many key points you should touch upon, to guarantee it’s success. Although some risks are involved in maintaining a tasting room, the rewards can effectively boost your overall revenue. Paying attention to both product and patron, will help you stay well balanced. The following are some helpful tips to consider when opening a tasting room.
Always Serve Responsibly
This is a no-brainer, but it is the most important to remember. Tasting rooms are meant for just that: taste. Be cognizant of your staff’s pours. Remember customers are sampling and mixing several different beers, or wines, so over-pouring a sample is treading into dangerous territory.
Have your staff double check the ID’s of anyone entering the room, no matter if they have already been checked. Tasting rooms, like the bar, are always age 21 and over. This includes your staff. Since servers outside of the room also serve food, they can be 18 and up, but in a tasting room, the laws are different.
Track Your Sample Sizes
There are statutory limits on sampling. Know your state’s laws, and regulations. For example: California is limited to giving trade samples of one liter for certain beverages. Also, any beers or wines being used for the tasting room should be labeled as “samples only.”
Some states also require that a three year record is kept, with information like: brand and type, size of sample package, name of the salesman who removes the sample package, date it is removed, and quantity given. It is essential that detailed records are kept, not only for your own tracking value, but also to cover any liability on the tasting room. This is where that “tasting rooms can be risky” factor comes in. As long as you have good records, you’re golden!
Practice Crowd Control
Tasting rooms are usually the most popular part of your bar, and they can become pretty crowded. An ample staff should always be provided based on the size and traffic of any tasting room. Servers tend to see less, and make more mistakes, if they are just too busy.
In addition to having menus inside the room, why not post a digital drink board on the outside? People eating first or waiting to enter the room, may peruse over their selection of potential samples, and gather any questions they may have about the product. TapHunter can provide these digital menus. It is a great program, that has been successful for many businesses across the country. The hardware simply attaches to the back of your TV and can be updated automatically via your simple dashboard on their platform.
Everyone’s a VIP
A common mistake tasting room staff make, is lauding to certain people. This happens more-so in a wine tasting room, than a craft beer, but it can happen anywhere. Don’t make people stand like potted plants because there is a retailer, distributor, or anyone that deserves special attention. Take them to their own room if you feel that is necessary.
Tasting rooms are about making everyone enjoy an experience together. It gives customers the ability to share in an array of new flavors, in a short amount of time. Use these quick tips, and you’ll have people returning to your establishment again and again.