Dear Tasting Room Manager...
The true unsung hero of the winery. You are at the center of it all and you handle it with grace, dignity, and always with a smile. You are the fearless leader, the problem solver, you carry the winery on your shoulders and you make it look easy. There isn’t a part of the winery you don’t know like the back of your hand and you can answer just about any question an employee, customer or wine club member throws your way. You are not only managing the winery, you are catapulting your organization to the top and making a name for the fine wine you represent.
It’s not easy doing what you do and we have a few ideas of things you can implement right now to make your job just a little bit better. Some of these things you might already be doing, and some of them you might have never thought of before. Whichever the case might be, keep being you and doing all the wonderful things you do.
1. The POS System is your most powerful tool, know it inside and out. Make sure you stay up-to-date on any new features or improvements and how to complete any type of transaction possible. Be prepared to troubleshoot when issues arise and to have a plan in place in the event that something unavoidable happens. You should be the master of the POS, the person everyone knows can address any POS issue and can save the day for clients and employees alike!
2. Know your Metrics. One of the most important aspects of your position is to always know exactly how your tasting room is performing. What were your sales this week compared to the same week last year? What products are being sold the most and will those sales create a crunch on your inventory? Who is your top sales person and who is your weakest team member and what are you doing to support both? Take the time to prepare weekly sales reports so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your Tasting Room at all times.
3. You are only as successful as the team members you manage. Make sure you are providing them with all the tools they need to succeed. Have a top-notch training program in place that covers all the aspects of the winery including product knowledge, sales system proficiencies, proper operating procedures and winery policies. Training doesn’t end with orientation, have an ongoing plan in place to keep everyone at the top of their game, your customers will love you for it!
4. You will run out of a wine, everyone does, but make sure you’re keeping track and managing your Inventory so you don’t sell out of a wine mid-way through a club shipment or big sales promotion. You should be taking inventory on a monthly basis to effectively manage winery sales, remove low inventory wines from your tasting room menus, and monitor for loss prevention.
5. Manage your guest expectations by making sure information about your winery is complete and current. Your web and social media sites should include your operating hours, events, tasting and tour information, and of course information about your wines. Nothing sours a winery visit more than arriving just to find out the winery actually closes an hour before what is posted on your web site...this will surely end with a horrible Yelp review, which no one wants!