January 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 28 of 43 29 January/February 2015 • O ffering wine on tap requires an investment in the technology, additional space for the kegs and training on using and maintaining the system. There's also the risk that customers won't respond well to kegged wine, and concerns about the limited wines available on tap. So is it worth it? Many operators seem to think so. The main reason is the savings: Although operators may be charged up-front installation costs to set up the system (as with any new draft line), the cost per bottle is generally much less when comparing it to a wine tap system. Wine kegs cost less compared with bottled wines because they eliminate pricey packaging components such as bottles, labels and corks. What's more, because wine-keg technology prevents oxygen from touching the wine, operators can preserve the product longer, avoiding spoilage and lost revenue. "On any given night, you'll have some wine left in the last bottle you opened," says Bruce Schneider, cofounder/ managing partner of Gotham Project, a New York-based producer and sourcer of wine on tap. "It won't be as fresh even the next day, so you need to choose between serving compromised wine to your guests or pouring the extra wine down the drain at a financial loss." Wine on tap eliminates these problems, he says. Wine kegs are more environmentally friendly due to their lack of product packaging, plus they help streamline service, as staffers no longer need to take time to uncork and pour from bottles. The wine taps also help improve inventory control and eliminate the risk of employees stealing wine bottles from a bar or restaurant. Temperature control is another benefit of wine on tap: operators can dial up the temperature of the wine on their draft system and get a glass served at the perfect temperature every single time. This is hard to do with bottles of red wine Supplier Free Flow Wines currently offers more than 450 different varieties of wine on tap.

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