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Wine markups and pricing [moved from Boston board]

DoubleMan- Point taken. Judging value is indeed what this thread is about and I guess from my point of view I see so many other things besides simply just the value of what you get at a restaurant. I hate to say it but your comment "it's also not a struggling business" probably does mean that the Butcher Shop can pretty much charge whatever they want. They don't seem to have an issue filling seats so the law of supply and demand tells them to go ahead and raise prices to the point that the consumer will bear. (Not all consumers but enough to keep them busy.) And you are right to point that out to other CH readers to make them aware of that. If someone wants to enjoy that glass in that atmosphere that much, they'll simply pay it. It''s like Sox tickets: if I want to sit in an upscale box I'm going to pay a premium. If I don't mind the bleachers I'll get cheap seats. We're all watching the same game. But my atmosphere and service and experience in the box will cost me more.
(BTW I aim for 3.5-4 glasses per bottle. If I gave you 1/5 bottle at my restaurant you'd be writing here about my short pours!)

Dec 14, 2009
JohnDoeJr in Wine

Wine markups and pricing [moved from Boston board]

[NOTE: We've moved this discussion from the thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/673460 -- THE CHOWHOUND TEAM]

I haven't been to Central Bottle and I've been to the Butcher Shop only twice. However as a restaurant owner I'd like to throw my two cents into the discussion about wine and pricing, etc.

If you go to a restaurant and order a Coke, you are most likely going to be charged anywhere from $1.50-$3 or even more for a glass. Then you can walk outside and go to CVS and get a liter for about the same price. Why does this not elicit the same level of indignation? What you get when you go to a restaurant is an experience: to be waited on, to enjoy the atmosphere, to have the wine served to you in a glass that you don't have to wash after you're finished, to spend time with friends (or yourself). Food and bev typically make up 25-30% of a healthy restaurants costs. Which does translate to the customer paying for the 3-4x markup. Egregious? Not from my perspective where I'm paying a staff of people to make sure you have a good experience, rent that is typically up to 10% of revenue, insurance to make sure that if you choke on your wine I won't lose the house, glassware+tables+chairs, etc.. Plus, yes, at the end of the day I would love to pay myself something (after I've paid back my investors over anywhere from 2-8 years depending on how busy we are). Oh and did I mention healh insurance? I want to help pay for health for my employees - and by state law I'm obliged to - and this past year I've seen our health insurance costs creep -make that skyrocket- up almost double.

Not complaining. I love love love this business. I have lurked long enough on Chowhound to understand that this site is all about pointing out places that you might not otherwise have known about and I do appreciate that. Just wanted to try and explain from the other side of the coin. Thanks.

Dec 13, 2009
JohnDoeJr in Wine