Paying to BYO in Restaurants

April 22nd, 2013

Firstly I should tell you that if you turned up at a European restaurant clutching your own wine, they would be astonished — after all restaurants make their living from selling wine and food.  However, it has been customary in Australia to do so for many years.  And Baguette allows BYO wine Monday to Thursday, with a corkage charge of $6.80 per person.  Now this might seem like a hefty charge to some, but if you bring a good bottle of wine to Baguette and we charge you (and your dining companion) $13.60 to serve it —  you will save money on what we would have had to charge you, if it was on our List.  If you bring a ‘bin bargain’ that cost you $5, it’s probably not the same value for money.

A note here:  Restaurants are charged much more (wholesale) for the wines they buy, than hotel liquor shops.  We simply don’t have the buying power, so at times wines cost less for us  to buy them retail through a liquor shop, than it costs us through the wholesaler.

Master of Wine, Peter Scudamore-Smith calculated some years ago that it costs better restaurants $8.50 per person  when we serve a customer their own wine.  How you say?  Well, he included things like labour (currently running at over 40% of our sales), wine buckets, ice (an ice machine costs $5000), good glassware (plus breakages).  It also has to be considered that licensed restaurants have already outlayed say $60,000 on wine purchases plus rent on their wine cellar space.

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