If you are starting up a cafe or small restaurant you may be looking around for a wine supplier. Many patrons enjoy having a glass of wine over dinner and the margins on alcoholic beverages can often be much healthier than the margins on your food service. Here are some things to consider as you compare suppliers.
A house wine
It's a good idea to have an affordable yet tasty wine as a house wine. This is an automatic choice for many people who aren't familiar with wine and it's a good idea to pay particular heed to the choice to make sure it's a tasty wine that helps elevate the meals you serve. In some cases, you can even find a wine supplier that will brand some 'clean skin' (unlabelled) wines with a sticker showing your cafe details, which can be a nice extra touch to enhance your brand.
If you only have a small cafe you may not have enough room to store cases and cases of wine. One way to manage this is to have regular deliveries of wine throughout your busiest periods. It can be a good idea to check with your wine supplier if they will deliver on the weekend and whether they are happy to make relatively small deliveries each time but still offer you wholesale rates on wine. You may end up with slightly higher delivery fees but it can be worth it to save space in the pantry!
A curated wine list
As you are just starting up it can be a good idea to start with a relatively smaller wine list and develop the list over time as you gauge the tastes of your customers. Choose a theme for the wine list and work out how each wine that you serve will complement dishes on the menu. That way customers who aren't confident wine orderers can get some guidance from your staff. It can be good to initially start with either local wines or wines from the country of the food that you are serving to keep your wine list small and curated.
Choosing a wine supplier that is experienced in supplying small cafes and restaurants can help to keep your margins healthy and ensure that you customers have a great experience when dining with you. A wine supplier can often help you to curate a wine list and find wines your customers will love to have with your food.