I had been out with a friend mystery shopping at wineries and we decided to have an ice cream while we went over the results. It was later in the afternoon, around 4 p.m., when we entered the ice cream shop. There were six people in line and only one person working (I asked). Opting not to wait, we walked over to a bookstore, which has a coffee bar. There were four people in line, two waiting for coffee drinks and one person behind the bar. That employee was the only person working and definitely had her hands full. Again we decided not to wait (there’s a pattern developing) and walked across the street to the bakery where there were five people in line and a couple waiting to get their orders filled. You guessed it… there was only one person on staff. We ended up sitting on a bench outside to go over our notes and observations with no ice cream, no coffee and no pastries (how sad is that!).
In any of these three places my friend and I would have spent enough money to pay the wages of a staff person for an hour, and we were not the only people to walk out because of the lines.
How many people are walking out of your winery because there is no one available to take their money when they are ready to spend it? Human beings can be so impatient. We want what we want when we want it! Or perhaps your visitors are on a schedule and have somewhere else to be.
How many employees do you need in your tasting room? Track your visitors per hour for a week or two to discover the busiest days and hours in your tasting room. You might think you know it, but track anyway; you could be surprised. Then schedule an additional staff person at the appropriate times. Employees can be kept busy even when there are few visitors; notes can be written to customers, things may need dusting or drawers can be sorted (keeping the rubble out of the eyes of visitors), giftware inventoried, etc.
Having enough staff to make your visitors feel welcome, taken care of, relaxed and important will result in increased sales and customer satisfaction.
Have a great time and make it your best sales season ever!