Increased corkage post-COVID?

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Andrew K.
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Increased corkage post-COVID?

#1 Post by Andrew K. » August 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm

So I'm planning dinner at a local top restaurant for our anniversary. I've heard about a lot of restaurants reducing or eliminating their corkage to try to encourage people to dine with them and/or offering specials or reduced prices on their wine list.

So I ask the somm what they are doing and he said not only do they have no specials/discounts, they have increased their corkage to $35/50 (2 bottles max) to "encourage guests to enjoy their wines".

Curious if anyone else has seen this type of money grab?
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#2 Post by Andrew M » August 4th, 2020, 2:04 pm

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#3 Post by NickRut » August 4th, 2020, 2:09 pm

It’s frequent all over atlanta. Considering a high % of the money made in restaurants is off the wine and drinks list, it makes sense to me from a business perspective. Still a pain. Sometimes I’ve seen them waive the first bottle if you buy a bottle off the list.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#4 Post by J. Rock » August 4th, 2020, 2:17 pm

It's an interesting strategy. Do you sacrifice alcohol sales to incentivize people to come to the restaurant in the first place, or do you try to make a bigger margin off of diners once they're already there?
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#5 Post by Ethan Abraham » August 4th, 2020, 2:29 pm

I'll be happy to pay corkage once I start going back to NYC restaurants, even the places that usually waive it for us.

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#6 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 4th, 2020, 2:42 pm

Some restaurants have eliminated corkage.

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#7 Post by Kirk.Grant » August 4th, 2020, 3:08 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 2:29 pm
I'll be happy to pay corkage once I start going back to NYC restaurants, even the places that usually waive it for us.
This...+ 3,000 (pennies)
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#8 Post by Michael S. Monie » August 4th, 2020, 3:16 pm

The flaw in this thread is in the title: 'post'. A lot of reastaurants are just trying to survive. Never forget that we are the 1% when it comes to wine. Most people have no interest in corkage.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#9 Post by H Wallace Jr » August 4th, 2020, 3:17 pm

I can't imagine bringing wine into a restaurant right now.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#10 Post by Charles Hetzel » August 4th, 2020, 3:18 pm

I am seeing most suburban and event high end Michelin-starred downtown Chicago restaurants encouraging more BYOB and even now permitting BYOB with $0 corkage even more during the pandemic. Perhaps this is just regional? Love the trend here in ChicagoLand.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#11 Post by Michael S. Monie » August 4th, 2020, 3:22 pm

Charles Hetzel wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:18 pm
I am seeing most suburban and event high end Michelin-starred downtown Chicago restaurants encouraging more BYOB and even now permitting BYOB with $0 corkage even more during the pandemic. Perhaps this is just regional? Love the trend here in ChicagoLand.
Maybe like Del Posto they had to sell a lot of their inventory to survive.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#12 Post by Arv R » August 4th, 2020, 3:24 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm
So I'm planning dinner at a local top restaurant for our anniversary. I've heard about a lot of restaurants reducing or eliminating their corkage to try to encourage people to dine with them and/or offering specials or reduced prices on their wine list.

So I ask the somm what they are doing and he said not only do they have no specials/discounts, they have increased their corkage to $35/50 (2 bottles max) to "encourage guests to enjoy their wines".

Curious if anyone else has seen this type of money grab?
Perhaps that works if they think their demand is inelastic, and customers want to eat there, no matter what the price is. Usually if all that were true they would start doing things like mandatory tasting course dinners, prepayment with reservations, ancillary charges (valet etc.) Sometimes one sees this on Valentines Day or Mothers Day etc.

Some might (fairly) point out that discounting isn't going to drive patrons to visit if the fundamental fear is getting infected when eating out. But there is also a recession going on too, and that is hurting demand too, so I'm a little surprised a venue is being like this. Its hard to collect that corkage fee if the table is empty!
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#13 Post by Nick Christie » August 4th, 2020, 3:37 pm

Charles Hetzel wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:18 pm
I am seeing most suburban and event high end Michelin-starred downtown Chicago restaurants encouraging more BYOB and even now permitting BYOB with $0 corkage even more during the pandemic. Perhaps this is just regional? Love the trend here in ChicagoLand.
Even in Covid times... I still like being a customer who gets to choose models, and I choose this one. If your place is sold out and however much you like me (or not), you need each table to pay something for wine? I totally get corkage. If your place is half full and I'm coming, using social media to promote going, and just being a good customer at a time when things are immensely difficult? I don't want you to charge me corkage. It will just kill my interest because of how I feel.

Any opinion among the spectrum is perfectly valid, but I want a restaurant (if they're struggling for seats) to value me in this way. If not, I simply can use the corkage fees to buy premium stuff to cook at home, and get neighborhood ethnic takeout (even for fancy occasions) and dress it up a bit (some of the Indian around us is quite impressive for takeout).

*I'll add the caveat that, personally, I still haven't sat inside a restaurant yet for distancing reasons since March, so it's outside dining only or no takeout only for me at the moment in this country. So, admittedly, I'm already on the fence about restaurants, period. In any state.

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#14 Post by Robert Dentice » August 4th, 2020, 3:56 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm
So I'm planning dinner at a local top restaurant for our anniversary. I've heard about a lot of restaurants reducing or eliminating their corkage to try to encourage people to dine with them and/or offering specials or reduced prices on their wine list.

So I ask the somm what they are doing and he said not only do they have no specials/discounts, they have increased their corkage to $35/50 (2 bottles max) to "encourage guests to enjoy their wines".

Curious if anyone else has seen this type of money grab?
Honestly this is insane. Do you have any idea how bad restaurants are hurting? Restaurants do NOT make money on food. If you think you are doing them a favor by going there and drinking your own wine you are not. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have a $2000-5000+ bottle of wine in your avatar.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#15 Post by Bdklein » August 4th, 2020, 4:00 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:56 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm
So I'm planning dinner at a local top restaurant for our anniversary. I've heard about a lot of restaurants reducing or eliminating their corkage to try to encourage people to dine with them and/or offering specials or reduced prices on their wine list.

So I ask the somm what they are doing and he said not only do they have no specials/discounts, they have increased their corkage to $35/50 (2 bottles max) to "encourage guests to enjoy their wines".

Curious if anyone else has seen this type of money grab?
Honestly this is insane. Do you have any idea how bad restaurants are hurting? Restaurants do NOT make money on food. If you think you are doing them a favor by going there and drinking your own wine you are not. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have a $2000-5000+ bottle of wine in your avatar.
Wow . Seems a bit harsh. Am I missing something ??
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#16 Post by Michael S. Monie » August 4th, 2020, 4:03 pm

Bdklein wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:00 pm
Robert Dentice wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:56 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm
So I'm planning dinner at a local top restaurant for our anniversary. I've heard about a lot of restaurants reducing or eliminating their corkage to try to encourage people to dine with them and/or offering specials or reduced prices on their wine list.

So I ask the somm what they are doing and he said not only do they have no specials/discounts, they have increased their corkage to $35/50 (2 bottles max) to "encourage guests to enjoy their wines".

Curious if anyone else has seen this type of money grab?
Honestly this is insane. Do you have any idea how bad restaurants are hurting? Restaurants do NOT make money on food. If you think you are doing them a favor by going there and drinking your own wine you are not. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have a $2000-5000+ bottle of wine in your avatar.
Wow . Seems a bit harsh. Am I missing something ??
I don't know Robert but I do know that he is passionate about restaurants. I'm sure it pains him greatly to observe what they are going through.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#17 Post by Steve Crawford » August 4th, 2020, 4:05 pm

Restaurants really aren’t in a position of strength right now so charging more and providing less seems pretty dumb.

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#18 Post by Michael S. Monie » August 4th, 2020, 4:08 pm

Bringing wine into a restaurant is a privilege, not a right.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#19 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 4th, 2020, 4:10 pm

Steve Crawford wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:05 pm
Restaurants really aren’t in a position of strength right now so charging more and providing less seems pretty dumb.
What’s your story going to be when they are all gone?

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#20 Post by ChrisJames » August 4th, 2020, 4:12 pm

Did Wine Berserkers just become a "Covid is a hoax" website? As far as I am aware, not only are we not post-COVID, we aren't even close to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. While it is a terrible shame about the restaurant industry, I'll put my safety first. I haven't been to a restaurant since January and won't be going to one for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#21 Post by Robert Dentice » August 4th, 2020, 4:13 pm

Michael S. Monie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:03 pm
Bdklein wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:00 pm
Robert Dentice wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:56 pm


Honestly this is insane. Do you have any idea how bad restaurants are hurting? Restaurants do NOT make money on food. If you think you are doing them a favor by going there and drinking your own wine you are not. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have a $2000-5000+ bottle of wine in your avatar.
Wow . Seems a bit harsh. Am I missing something ??
I don't know Robert but I do know that he is passionate about restaurants. I'm sure it pains him greatly to observe what they are going through.
Thank you and apologies if it came across as a bit harsh. Restaurants and their workers are struggling beyond what you could possibly imagine. A line cook in a top restaurant in NYC probably makes $40k a year for a 90-100 hour week and was living on the edge before the pandemic.

I listened to a podcast by David Chang with Wylie Dufresne. Wylie had to close his current restaurant in March (it is a casual place focused on doughnuts but still) after not being their for 30 or so days he decided to stop in and check on things. When he arrived he saw one of his kitchen workers. He asked what he was doing sitting in front of the restaurant. He said he had no money, his checking account was overdrawn and he just want to watch over the restaurant in the hopes it will be able to reopen again.

My personal opinion, if you have the means to go to a restaurant with a sommelier you should pay whatever corkage is, buy a bottle from the list and leave a big tip.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#22 Post by Greg K » August 4th, 2020, 4:14 pm

Bdklein wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:00 pm
Robert Dentice wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:56 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm
So I'm planning dinner at a local top restaurant for our anniversary. I've heard about a lot of restaurants reducing or eliminating their corkage to try to encourage people to dine with them and/or offering specials or reduced prices on their wine list.

So I ask the somm what they are doing and he said not only do they have no specials/discounts, they have increased their corkage to $35/50 (2 bottles max) to "encourage guests to enjoy their wines".

Curious if anyone else has seen this type of money grab?
Honestly this is insane. Do you have any idea how bad restaurants are hurting? Restaurants do NOT make money on food. If you think you are doing them a favor by going there and drinking your own wine you are not. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have a $2000-5000+ bottle of wine in your avatar.
Wow . Seems a bit harsh. Am I missing something ??
No, I don't think so. I think Robert's point is that it's ridiculous to, on the one hand, brag about buying cases of grand cru Burgundy, but on the other hand complain that a restaurant is doing a "money grab" by charging a little bit more for corkage during the worst economic time for restaurants in time immemorial. They're trying to survive.

I suspect take a slightly different view on corkage than Robert, but ultimately it's completely up to the restaurant what they want to charge. And these days, I'd be happy to pay it.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#23 Post by Greg K » August 4th, 2020, 4:15 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:13 pm
My personal opinion, if you have the means to go to a restaurant with a sommelier you should pay whatever corkage is, buy a bottle from the list and leave a big tip.
Actually Robert, we agree 100% :)
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#24 Post by Greg K » August 4th, 2020, 4:16 pm

ChrisJames wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:12 pm
Did Wine Berserkers just become a "Covid is a hoax" website? As far as I am aware, not only are we not post-COVID, we aren't even close to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. While it is a terrible shame about the restaurant industry, I'll put my safety first. I haven't been to a restaurant since January and won't be going to one for the foreseeable future.
I assume he's dining outside.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#25 Post by Robert Dentice » August 4th, 2020, 4:16 pm

Steve Crawford wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:05 pm
Restaurants really aren’t in a position of strength right now so charging more and providing less seems pretty dumb.
Running a business at even bigger loss would not be smart.

Please read this article.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/23/maga ... covid.html
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#26 Post by Barry L i p t o n » August 4th, 2020, 4:19 pm

Michael S. Monie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:08 pm
Bringing wine into a restaurant is a privilege, not a right.
As is expecting my patronage.

No different from pre-Covid, they set their policy and I make my decision. For me it's as much the attitude as the cost (within reason, but I don't find $35/50 unreasonable for a formal restaurant) . It does factor into my decision but that usually refers to how many times I go, not whether I go at all.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#27 Post by Scott Brunson » August 4th, 2020, 4:21 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:56 pm
Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm
So I'm planning dinner at a local top restaurant for our anniversary. I've heard about a lot of restaurants reducing or eliminating their corkage to try to encourage people to dine with them and/or offering specials or reduced prices on their wine list.

So I ask the somm what they are doing and he said not only do they have no specials/discounts, they have increased their corkage to $35/50 (2 bottles max) to "encourage guests to enjoy their wines".

Curious if anyone else has seen this type of money grab?
Honestly this is insane. Do you have any idea how bad restaurants are hurting? Restaurants do NOT make money on food. If you think you are doing them a favor by going there and drinking your own wine you are not. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have a $2000-5000+ bottle of wine in your avatar.
+1
And your number is low.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#28 Post by Scott Brunson » August 4th, 2020, 4:24 pm

Michael S. Monie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:08 pm
Bringing wine into a restaurant is a privilege, not a right.
And another +1 [cheers.gif]
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#29 Post by Oliver McCrum » August 4th, 2020, 4:29 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 2:29 pm
I'll be happy to pay corkage once I start going back to NYC restaurants, even the places that usually waive it for us.
Exactly. I'll be giving thanks that they are still open.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#30 Post by YLee » August 4th, 2020, 4:40 pm

I think $35/50 is pretty fair fee for a top restaurant.

I wish I could find a $35 fee for a top restaurant in NYC (5 boroughs).
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#31 Post by Bdklein » August 4th, 2020, 4:46 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:13 pm
Michael S. Monie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:03 pm
Bdklein wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:00 pm


Wow . Seems a bit harsh. Am I missing something ??
I don't know Robert but I do know that he is passionate about restaurants. I'm sure it pains him greatly to observe what they are going through.
Thank you and apologies if it came across as a bit harsh. Restaurants and their workers are struggling beyond what you could possibly imagine. A line cook in a top restaurant in NYC probably makes $40k a year for a 90-100 hour week and was living on the edge before the pandemic.

I listened to a podcast by David Chang with Wylie Dufresne. Wylie had to close his current restaurant in March (it is a casual place focused on doughnuts but still) after not being their for 30 or so days he decided to stop in and check on things. When he arrived he saw one of his kitchen workers. He asked what he was doing sitting in front of the restaurant. He said he had no money, his checking account was overdrawn and he just want to watch over the restaurant in the hopes it will be able to reopen again.

My personal opinion, if you have the means to go to a restaurant with a sommelier you should pay whatever corkage is, buy a bottle from the list and leave a big tip.
Thanks for the clarification . I felt the OP was just asking a question and not asking to be judged/attacked/called insane . Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett don't look to overspend either .

The Covid world in which we live just sucks .
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#32 Post by c fu » August 4th, 2020, 4:49 pm

at this point i'm just happy if a restaurant will allow you to open wine.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#33 Post by Andrew M » August 4th, 2020, 4:55 pm

.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#34 Post by Bdklein » August 4th, 2020, 5:12 pm

Andrew M wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 4:55 pm
Indeed, it’s a world in which you’re only entitled to your differing opinion if you’re willing to be tarred, feathered, and publicly shamed for it. Just vote with your wallet, everyone else on here clearly is.
Or in this case , telling someone else how they should spend their money . That's insane !!!
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#35 Post by Nick Christie » August 4th, 2020, 5:13 pm

I know I'm just the young(ish) guy who mostly GIF comments, but I'm very much... unamused that a thread about Corkage can become filled with name-calling and shame-spiraling in under 30 posts.

Andrew, or anybody who asks a reasonable question, deserves to have either a reasonable reply in return or silence. No one starts a thread to get called a name, and I believe he deserves more protection than has been given thus far. My opinion, of course. Hopefully not an uncommon one.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#36 Post by Andrew K. » August 4th, 2020, 5:14 pm

Arv R wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 3:24 pm
Usually if all that were true they would start doing things like mandatory tasting course dinners, prepayment with reservations, ancillary charges (valet etc.)
I think you're on to something. They are also doing mandatory tasting menu. So it very much might be that they have more than enough business and this is part of the way they are trying to increase average ticket size to offset the fewer tables they can accommodate given the spacing restrictions.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#37 Post by Andrew K. » August 4th, 2020, 5:24 pm

Nick Christie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:13 pm
Andrew, or anybody who asks a reasonable question, deserves to have either a reasonable reply in return. No ones starts a thread to get called a name, and I believe he deserves more protection than has been given thus far. My opinion, of course. Hopefully not an uncommon one.
While there does seem to be a lot of groupthink and prepubescent angst floating around here lately, if I had to guess, most of the verve seen in this thread is predicated on my last thread. Nobody likes to hear "rich" people complain about money! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#38 Post by David_K » August 4th, 2020, 5:25 pm

Money grab? More like trying to survive. Sheesh.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#39 Post by Nick Christie » August 4th, 2020, 5:27 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:24 pm
Nick Christie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:13 pm
Andrew, or anybody who asks a reasonable question, deserves to have either a reasonable reply in return. No ones starts a thread to get called a name, and I believe he deserves more protection than has been given thus far. My opinion, of course. Hopefully not an uncommon one.
While there does seem to be a lot of groupthink and prepubescent angst floating around here lately, if I had to guess, most of the verve seen in this thread is predicated on my last thread. Nobody likes to hear "rich" people complain about money! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#40 Post by A G Aguirre » August 4th, 2020, 5:40 pm

Nick Christie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:13 pm
I know I'm just the young(ish) guy who mostly GIF comments, but I'm very much... unamused that a thread about Corkage can become filled with name-calling and shame-spiraling in under 30 posts.

Andrew, or anybody who asks a reasonable question, deserves to have either a reasonable reply in return or silence. No one starts a thread to get called a name, and I believe he deserves more protection than has been given thus far. My opinion, of course. Hopefully not an uncommon one.
Uhh, I don’t think characterizing a restaurant increasing their corkage to $35 during a time like this as a “money grab” is a reasonable way to ask a question.

If OP is going to name call, why the hell can’t we do that right back?
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#41 Post by Andrew K. » August 4th, 2020, 5:49 pm

Nick Christie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:27 pm
I admire your thick skin...
I appreciate your consideration regardless. When it gets too much for me, I just hole up in my cellar and drown my sorrows in a vertical of Romanee-Conti while writing Haiku about the hoi polloi. [highfive.gif]

(Not really, I wish I had a cellar of RC. Just a little needling for the usual suspects.)
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#42 Post by K N Haque » August 4th, 2020, 5:53 pm

I'm new here - really new- and I have learned so much from these boards already. One thing that has surprised me is this issue that I have now seen in a few threads. I honestly had no idea there was so much resistance to corkage. Looking at the sort of bottles people are often talking about here, $35-50 (the OP's example) seems pretty trifling in the scheme of things when you may be bringing, let's say at $100 bottle marked at $250 at the restaurant. For that $50, you save $100 and the restaurant has lost a chance to make $200 (though they retain the possibility of selling that bottle for $250 later). Clearly, the numbers are more striking the pricier the bottle is. Of course, restaurants are going to charge something. As I said, I am really a newbie here, but I can't understand why this $35-50 is such a big deal. Though I would completely understand if you choose to find a restaurant that had a no corkage policy, if this matters to you.

If I am missing something here, please explain it to me.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#43 Post by Andrew K. » August 4th, 2020, 6:01 pm

K N Haque wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:53 pm
If I am missing something here, please explain it to me.
Appreciate your comment. Actually, just to clarify, my OP wasn't really geared towards corkage specifically, but more expressing surprise that they were increasing prices during this unstable time. I had expected this to be a "buyers market" with restaurants doing everything they can to woo customers with great deals. I was hoping for more comments about what others' local restaurant policies looked like, not such a lively discussion about whether we should be bringing wine into restaurants...
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#44 Post by Greg K » August 4th, 2020, 6:07 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:24 pm
Nick Christie wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:13 pm
Andrew, or anybody who asks a reasonable question, deserves to have either a reasonable reply in return. No ones starts a thread to get called a name, and I believe he deserves more protection than has been given thus far. My opinion, of course. Hopefully not an uncommon one.
While there does seem to be a lot of groupthink and prepubescent angst floating around here lately, if I had to guess, most of the verve seen in this thread is predicated on my last thread. Nobody likes to hear "rich" people complain about money! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#45 Post by T. Altmayer » August 4th, 2020, 6:09 pm

While I will order wine off the menu to support the restaurants, part of the problem is the way restaurants have priced wines (well prior to this pandemic). I think restaurants overreached when they started to go to 3x + retail. It makes for a really difficult decision for someone who does well, but cannot just drop $150 on a decent bottle of wine every weekend when we go to dinner.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#46 Post by Andrew K. » August 4th, 2020, 6:14 pm

Greg K wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 6:07 pm
Great to run into you again my friend! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#47 Post by Andrew M » August 4th, 2020, 7:01 pm

.
Last edited by Andrew M on August 10th, 2020, 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#48 Post by Mike Wenzel » August 4th, 2020, 7:18 pm

Have not noticed in Sonoma County but I would not even consider bringing my own wine right now (to eat outside as that is the only option) with restaurants suffering so badly. Will gladly drink simpler wines to help the restaurant stay afloat and will look forward to corkage in the future (if the restaurants survive). I have many friends in the business and it is carnage and I feel horrible for the industry. People who spent their entire life building a business based on hospitality and can't offer it as they have and are at risk losing everything with no finite end date. Not that this is limited too restaurants, but we are talking about corkage.

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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#49 Post by Cris Whetstone » August 4th, 2020, 7:59 pm

I think increased corkage should not be a surprise. Eliminating corkage would be a mistake. You're in effect telling some people not to come to your restaurant. It's running under the assumption you would be missing wine sales but how many restaurants have every table making a bottle purchase from their list? There's room for compromise on both sides of the corkage debate. People want to go out again and people running restaurants want to host them. Quibbling around this small issue doesn't seem useful.
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Re: Increased corkage post-COVID?

#50 Post by K N Haque » August 4th, 2020, 8:17 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 6:01 pm
K N Haque wrote:
August 4th, 2020, 5:53 pm
If I am missing something here, please explain it to me.
Appreciate your comment. Actually, just to clarify, my OP wasn't really geared towards corkage specifically, but more expressing surprise that they were increasing prices during this unstable time. I had expected this to be a "buyers market" with restaurants doing everything they can to woo customers with great deals. I was hoping for more comments about what others' local restaurant policies looked like, not such a lively discussion about whether we should be bringing wine into restaurants...
Thanks for clarifying. I suspect that in the case of that restaurant, it is simply a case of trying to maximize revenue in an extraordinarily challenging time by encouraging wine list buys and they are taking a calculated gamble that increased wine sales will make up for any lost business due to lost patronage from increased corkage fees. Presumably, they have checked to see what their local competitors are doing, but you'll know your market best.

I do appreciate you explaining what you hoped the thread would be about, but I also understand why it became something else. Corkage fees, whether waived, decreased or increased, seem a bit incidental to the larger existential threat to the entire restaurant industry right now. Corkage won't matter if there are no restaurants left in business. And while I know that will not happen, the losses will be immense.
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