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Raisinable wine app brings mark up transparency to restaurant consumers

Published:  27 November, 2014

Raisinable, a free wine app which compares restaurant and retail wine prices and illustrates the mark up, is launching today and will feature several restaurants in London.

Raisinable app for iPhoneRaisinable app for iPhoneRaisinable app for iPhone shows the markup of wines at restaurants across London.

Raisinable, a free wine app which compares restaurant and retail wine prices and illustrates the mark up, is launching today and will feature several restaurants in London.

The app is launching in London to start and will be available on iTunes for iPhone users starting today, November 27, 2014, and will have just over 1,000 restaurants in the London area,  The company founder Olivia May said they hope to expand the app to include Manhattan early next year.

"The idea came about almost two years ago, when we had moved to New York City. We were going out pretty hard and it dawned on us that that we might be overpaying at specific restaurants when it came to the wines we were buying. The idea literally was born in a restaurant in the West Village," said May.

The app is set up to help empower consumers to make more informed decisions and demystify choosing wine in a restaurant which can be intimidating for some.

According to the app's website: "Raisinable compares the prices of wines in a restaurant to the average retail prices for the same wines - so at a glance you can see how much bang you're getting for your buck for each bottle, conveniently ordered in the same way as the restaurant's wine list. No fuss, no fancy flim-flam, just clear pricing in a free mobile app."

"We have put a considerable amount of man hours in getting the wine lists right and will continue to do this to make sure that the app is up to date," said May. This is a point of difference for Raisinable as other apps offer something similar but don't always keep the lists up to date.  "As this is the initial launch we plan on continually updating the app to ensure it is accurate and to add more restaurants," said May.

Raisinable app is now available on iTunes

The wine app could shake up the on-trade as consumers will have access to more information at their fingertips when they are ordering wines and may force some restaurants that were making excessive margins on particular wines to be fairer to consumers. 

"Unlike sommelier opinions and flowery tasting notes, knowing the mark up percentage on a wine bottle is an objective measure of whether you are getting good value," according to the website.

Although in the short term restaurants may find the app exposes them, May does think it will encourage consumers to purchase more expensive wines. May said: "Long term we are hoping very much that restaurants will use the app to their benefit. I think it will encourage people to spend more because it is often that you find better value with higher priced wines. It will also allow restaurants to effectively communicate the valued wines directly with our users."

It will also recognise the many restaurants out there that are offering customers good valued wines and "deserve to have their prices publicised." May said that the app will also be awarding those restaurants with consistently exceptional value to encourage more diners.

The mark up is calculated by using the average cost of a wine from online databases, including websites like, and cross comparing those prices with wine lists of the restaurants that they have loaded or consumers have posted. The mark up is then shown in in terms of a percentage and uses colour codes of red, amber or green to indicate whether or not the consumer is getting a good deal or not in comparison to the absolute markup and compared to other prices at other restaurants in that city.

The ethos of the app is to help consumers "find the best value wine list in restaurants near you, or be in a restaurant and then select a wine based on your own preferences and the best value option," according to the Raisinable website.

Raisinable will find a user's current location and show nearby restaurants with interesting wine lists or there is an option to look up a restaurant by name to view the wine list.