What if this happy event would happen everyday?
On the photo: An article by Gianluca Mezzofiore of the CNN network that has traveled the world in the media.
Earlier this week, BBC published an article about customers sitting at the bar of a Hawksmoor restaurant. They were mistakenly offered a bottle of Château Le Pin Pomerol 2001, worth £ 4,500 or just over 7500 Canadian dollars. The happy customers had ordered a bottle of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande which is worth £ 260. Major media organizations around the world, including the Journal de Montreal in Quebec, picked up on this event. This whole mistake is likely to be profitable in terms of visibility for the Hawksmoor bar, but the situation hides an important operational issue. Every day, we work with professionals in the food industry that we believe to be among the best in the business. This is a difficult profession as they face minimal profit margins and a significant shortage of qualified personnel. The pressure is constant to reinvent themselves and to seduce a customer base that is more and more demanding.
Even if the case of the Hawksmoor restaurant is probably a rare one, and a spectacular one at that, many similar situations occur on a daily basis in the restaurant industry that have a much greater financial impact.
Here are some real examples that we witnessed over the years :
- A customer orders a Sassicaia 2003 on the wine list of the restaurant. Not able to quickly locate the bottle in the cellar, the waiter brings a 2004 vintage to the table. As a client, I would be extremely pleased by this mistake, considering the quality of the Sassicaia 2004, but also for the price. A net loss of 250$ for the restaurant, not including the time lost by the server.
- During a busy night, a group ordered five bottles of wine. While the waiter was punching them, he mistakenly charged 57$ instead of 157$ for a bottle.
- During the annual inventory, 39 bottles of white wine on the 2800 bottle reserve have fallen into their declining state and now need to be phased out. Result: a net loss of 1670$.
- Customers from the United States are going to a restaurant during a major automobile event in Montreal, and they order three Grands Crus during the evening. These great Burgundy wines of the 1993 vintage, bought by the restaurant owner in 1995 for just over 1000$ each, are sold for 2500$ on the wine list. The real market value of these wine is 12 500$ each. The customers let the restaurant owner know that they were going to be back next year. A final loss of tens of thousands of dollars for the restaurant.
These few examples, provided by our customers, demonstrate the complexity and the massive management challenge that these professionals face every day.
Our goal with Alfred is to put our technologies at the service of restaurant owners to reduce errors and maximize profits. I dealt briefly with the impact of artificial intelligence in a recent article, and also with the importance of the datamatrix (unit identification technology) allowing us to manage each of the bottles individually within a wine cellar.
It is now possible to eliminate these risks of errors and to maximize the time spent taking care of the customers, which remains the main mission of a restaurant owner and his team.
Our solutions might not bring you to the front page of a major media organization, as it was the case with Hawksmoor, but profitability and order in your business surely await you. Challenge us to demonstrate the strength and profitability of our solutions!