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News - Surviving the recession

Published:  06 February, 2009

Profits, margins and customer service were the clarion call for the on-trade at this week's Wine + show held at London's Olympia.

The event, which went ahead despite the capital coming to a standstill on Monday, saw sommeliers, wine consultants and suppliers urging everyone in the on-trade to be as flexible as possible to maximise wine sales in 2009.
Wine lists need to be adapted to give value for money at all price points and suppliers willing to adapt trading terms customer to customer will win more business.
Wine consultant Peter McCombie urged restaurants to look at using wine to drive more cash profit through their business.

Matthieu Longuère, head sommelier at La Trompette in Chiswick, west London said in a live interview with Harpers at the show that successful businesses will focus even more than normal on giving customers what they want. "We must really talk to them and give them the wines they want to drink and not what restaurants just want to sell."

He said sommeliers were more than ever willing to try new wines, new varieties and explore different countries. "Suppliers should also realise everyone in a wine team can talk to them about their wines and not just the head sommelier."

Roger Jones at The Harrow in the Little Bedwyn said everyone had to be more innovative like offering more premium and exclusive wines by the glass.

You can access business sessions at the show at