How to broach the question?

Detailed information, by region, of restaurants and their wine/corkage policies
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AnnetteH
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How to broach the question?

#1 Post by AnnetteH » February 11th, 2014, 12:49 pm

There is a new Italian restaurant that just opened near me. I went there with some girlfriends a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it, enough so that I'm dying to go back again.
My husband and I have a group of friends (3-4 other couples) that we go out with regularly and have set up a dinner at this new place next weekend. Of the 3 other couples coming there are 4 people who I would consider very wine savvy and have brought their own wines along (usually just one bottle and then we buy from the restaurants list) to these dinners. As I made these plans I would like to bring a bottle along to enjoy but have no idea if this restaurant is open to that. I have never in my life done this and don't have any idea of who to ask at the restaurant and how I ask the question. I'm sure there is correct lingo and I don't want to sound like an idiot if I call LOL. Whom do I call and what should I ask?
Thanks all,
Annette
Annette H0lbrook

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Chris Presutti
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How to broach the question?

#2 Post by Chris Presutti » February 11th, 2014, 1:43 pm

Just call and ask the person who answers the phone. It's really not a big deal at all. I'd ask,"Do you allow BYO?" If they say yes, ask them if they charge a corkage fee. Some restaurants will waive the corkage fee for the wine you bring if you buy a bottle from their list too.

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AnnetteH
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How to broach the question?

#3 Post by AnnetteH » February 11th, 2014, 2:30 pm

Thanks, Chris. That is great to hear. They had 2 wines that I tasted last time that I really liked so am looking forward to trying those again as well.
Annette H0lbrook

Tom G l a s g o w
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How to broach the question?

#4 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » February 17th, 2014, 6:23 am

Opentable will often mention whether corkage is allowed (under details and referred to as personal wine welcome, usually with a note that a fee applies).
Just a note it's considered bad form to bring a wine on the restaurant's list.

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Rick.T
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How to broach the question?

#5 Post by Rick.T » February 19th, 2014, 11:36 pm

In time, you'll start bringing your own wine glasses to restaurants. BYO is the way to go especially at restaurants that have ridiculous markups. The average corkage runs $15-$30.

Have you been to Antico's Pizza in Atlanta?
T~@~n**d~y

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Jay $$ Winton
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How to broach the question?

#6 Post by Jay $$ Winton » February 20th, 2014, 8:23 am

You might want to get the person's name you spoke with just in case. I always put the bottle(s) in a carry bag and then give them to the server. Offer a taste to your server and if you're happy with the food, send a glass back to the chef.
Immaturity-my life, not my wine.

NED VALOIS
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How to broach the question?

#7 Post by NED VALOIS » February 20th, 2014, 8:28 am

"What is your corkage policy?" works for me .

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John Davis
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How to broach the question?

#8 Post by John Davis » February 24th, 2014, 7:25 am

I would also suggest getting the person's name. If you e-mail the restaurant and ask, as I often do, print a copy of the return e-mail allowing corkage and the cost. This has saved me money and potentially difficult discussions.
ITB

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Chris Blum
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How to broach the question?

#9 Post by Chris Blum » February 24th, 2014, 8:37 am

NED VALOIS wrote:"What is your corkage policy?" works for me .
+1 Perfect...simple, quick and open ended.

If the person answering the phone doesn't know what "corkage" means, you may have to elaborate, but assume they do at first.
"Well, wine only turns into alcohol if you let it sit" -- Lucille Bluth
"The Packers f'n suck" -- Todd French

Mike Evans
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How to broach the question?

#10 Post by Mike Evans » March 4th, 2014, 6:17 am

A good resource is gobyo.com, but I always call and verify the information.

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Robert.Fleming
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How to broach the question?

#11 Post by Robert.Fleming » March 4th, 2014, 9:54 am

Be sure to report the outcome in the Atlanta thread in the BYO Forum. Here: http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 7#p1397717

Dan.Gord0n
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How to broach the question?

#12 Post by Dan.Gord0n » March 4th, 2014, 3:29 pm

NED VALOIS wrote:"What is your corkage policy?" works for me .
Yep, usually just ask the person who answers the phone. Very rarely they don't know and go ask a manager.

Dan.Gord0n
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How to broach the question?

#13 Post by Dan.Gord0n » March 4th, 2014, 3:32 pm

Also, if the answer is a corkage fee that is too high or a no corkage policy, I do comment nicely that as a result, I will just go elsewhere. Likely won't impact behavior but maybe they never thought about it and the feedback that they lost a reservation may change their perspective.

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Ron Kramer
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How to broach the question?

#14 Post by Ron Kramer » March 4th, 2014, 3:52 pm

When eating at the establishment and if I enjoyed the meal, I ask to speak to the manager. When he arrives I tell him that I enjoyed the meal and mention that I (we) have a group of 10-12 wine enthusiasts that get together every other month or so at places that allow us byob privileges. I then tell him i'd love to bring them here, given the quality of the meal. I've had over 75% success with this approach. The reply usually is "give ME a call."
Blind calling is too impersonal and my eye to eye approach has served the locals here who join me at these restaurants can attest.

RandyH
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How to broach the question?

#15 Post by RandyH » March 28th, 2015, 5:43 am

In Cleveland we have found a few places where the person answering the phone says "no" and in fact the answer is "yes".
Randy Hart
Cleveland, OH

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