I just read a very well thought out and researched story about restaurant prices being outlandish on Enobytes.com.

I get why many people think this way, with some actually doing research studies to support their theories. It’s costing more and more to buy wine at restaurants. what was once a $5 wine-by-the glass is now up to $8 or $9. Being in the wine business, and knowing the original price of the item before it leaves the winery, to then see a $14 retail bottle of wine on a wine list for almost $40 does seem insane on so many levels.

So, I took the time to comment, and before I was done I had completely convinced myself that the trend toward raising wine prices was a necessary evil.

I’m now sharing, because it’s worth sharing for your thoughts on this, too… Especially if you’re in the food service industry.

I wrote:

Very impressive story, Jeffrey.

Wine seems to be the single item that’s used to keep many of these establishments in business. By boycotting them, I wonder how many great restaurants we’ll be putting out of business, though. Having been a wine sales rep for years, I got a behind the scenes look at the hows and whys. Some item has to help pay the bills, and wine’s an obvious target.

I suppose that the restaurants could just increase everything evenhandedly across the board, but then the food prices would also continue to soar, and people would head for the door. Wine is an item that people can elect to have or not. That’s the primary reason for the target.

A great study would be to evaluate all the costs involved in operating a restaurant: rent/mortgage, equipment, payroll, taxes, food, all beverages, etc., and then determine their profit. (Ah, capitalism…) I’d love to see something like that to support that their overall profit margins are huge; and then it’s all because of the wine. With that knowledge, I might elect to pay a corkage fee.

Good help is hard to find, and with restaurants, in order to keep someone good, benefits (like now having to offer health insurance) are a necessity. Gone are the days of minimum wage for wait servers, if you have a fine dining establishment. Minimum wage does NOT foster wait serving professionalism… With their increase in wine costs, perhaps “health insurance for all” has driven this new increase?

Just thoughts to ponder, having been behind the scenes as a wine rep.

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