Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rich Somm, Poor Somm

This man did not write or endorse this post in any way.
Growing up and around the wine business, I have seen that there are two kinds of Sommeliers: Rich Somms who know how to make their beverage cost and a profit, and Poor Somms, who do not. You might have an extensive wine education, you might work hard, and you might even be at a busy restaurant venue. But those factors by themselves won't ensure success when it comes to the all important number that determines whether or not you can keep your job: the beverage cost percentage. If you follow the sure fire educational tips below, you can learn to think like a Rich Somm. Start now and find yourself happier when the month ends and the numbers come back.

Rich Somms know that the profit is in the buying. A Rich Somm doesn't buy the hyped up vintage in quantity, they buy the vintage that was forgotten about and closed out by distributors trying to make room for the hyped vintage.

Rich Somms master the micros. They know that the easiest way to lose money is to undercharge the customers, and they take extra care to make sure that the micros keys are up to date and easy to find, with the correct pricing attached. A Rich Somm also makes sure that beverage revenue is reporting to beverage sales on the reports.

Rich Somms are always tasting. Rich Somms are always on the look out for the underpriced gem that no one knows about, and they take every opportunity they can to taste more wines.

Rich Somms don't overextend the cellar. A Rich Somm would rather get a good deal on a large quantity drop of a wine they really like than pay more for single case buys so that they can fit three more wines in the cellar space and on the list.

Rich Somms are careful about their numbers. They make sure to update the inventory. They double check the spreadsheet formulas before sending the results off to accounting.

Rich Somms measure out the size of their glassware. A Rich Somm knows how many ounces are going into the champagne flute or dessert wine glass, and prices accordingly.

Rich Somms are nice to wine reps and sales managers. They know that he who gets the closeout list first gets the closeout items before they are gone.

Rich Somms pour tasting pours for guests to try. A Rich Somm would rather have a half ounce glass of wine returned than have a five ounce glass of wine returned.

Rich Somms check in their own deliveries. They don't submit invoices to be paid without knowing for certain that the correct items arrived in the correct quantities.

Rich Somms think about breakage. A Rich Somm would rather pay a few dollars for a rubber mat in the cellar than a few dollars for broken glass in the cellar.

Rich Somms return corked bottles. They ask for and receive credits for corked wines.

Rich Somms believe in training. They want the staff to know the wines so that the recommendations are right for the customers, and less wine is returned.

Rich Somms keep guide glasses in the service station. A Rich Somm wants the staff to know what amount they should be pouring into the glasses, and keeps example glasses filled with grenadine and water on hand for the staff to see.

Rich Somms know the difference between a void and a comp. They ring in wines given out by the house to be comp'd by a manager.

Rich Somms buy beer for the kitchen staff to be drinking, so as to keep them from the good stuff.

If you would like to add to the Rich Somm's Education, please do so in the comments.

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