Staffing Up! Justifying more Tasting Room labor hours.

How to justify more Tasting Room labor hours.

This conversation is a constant struggle between too many tasting room mangers and winery executives.  To be able to deliver a knock-your-socks-off, WOW guest experience requires a little over staffing.  Maximizing wine sales and new wine club member sign-ups does too.  But no one wants to over staff, to pay too much in labor costs.  And nothing drives winery management crazier than seeing tasting room staff standing around twiddling their thumbs.

So how can you identify you labor sweet spot and justify staffing up to it? 

Let your tasting room metrics pave the way.  If you are tracking the following metrics on a daily basis you will have enough to information to defend your case:

  • Tasting Room Traffic (subtotaled by consumer and trade)
  • Wine Sales Dollars
  • Wine Sales Orders
  • New Club Member Sign-Ups
  • Number of Staff Members Working
  • Number of Labor Hours

With these inputs you can calculate the following ratios:

  • Order Conversion Rate (% of total orders / consumer traffic)
  • Average Order Value (total sales / total orders)
  • Wine Club Conversion Rate (% of new members / non-club consumer traffic)
  • Service Level (total number of visitors / labor hours)
  • Sales Labor Rate (% of total labor dollars / total sales dollars)

They key here is to understand at what Service Level are your sales and club sign-ups optimized.  These rates usually look better during slower times than on busy weekend.  Too many wineries just accept lower success rates on busy weekend as something that can’t be avoided.  They may be staffing up for increased traffic, but not enough.  WISE wineries watch these ratios closely and find ways to minimize performance dips by staffing up.  Justifying your tasting room labor hours is all in the numbers – these metrics will show that having the right, trained extra staff members on hand more than pays for itself. You can’t afford not to find your sweet spot.