Purpose: Wine is an important profit center for restaurants. The purpose of this paper is to address some of the challenges and opportunities at the nexus of wine and hospitality, with an eye on relationship building between smaller wineries and dining establishments. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is essay style with acknowledgments made to extant literature, as well as US industry-based intelligence. Findings: Primary challenges facing small wineries trying to enter the restaurant market revolve around constraints imposed by the traditional distribution system mindset, as well as pricing issues affecting procurement and markup of wine for restaurant use, limited abilities to provide sufficient inventory and the lack of time and people resources. Counterpoint discussion reveals opportunities related to increased focus on experience-based wine sales in restaurants, the importance of the story and the value of co-branding. Practical implications: Partnerships with restaurants can be a delicate yet desirable part of a small winery’s strategy. The key is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, while fulfilling the objectives and missions of both winery and restaurant. When wineries and restaurants carve out the time and invest the people resources to successfully and purposefully co-brand, optimum symmetry is formed which leads to mutually valued dining and special gastronomic experiences for the winery/restaurant partners and their customers. Originality/value: In a viewpoint format, the paper outlines and discusses the key elements of relationship building between small wineries and restaurants.
- Relationship building
- Small wineries