5-Star Culture: What Does it Mean for Your Winery?

Let’s begin by thinking about the growing competition in the wine industry. How many wineries would you say are located within a 30-mile radius of your winery? 30, 50, 100+?!? We are living in the most competitive wine market in history, and it’s only going to continue to get tougher. Not only are we competing with other wineries, but also other entertainment industries serving wine. Guests are now being offered fine wines at upscale movie theaters, bowling alleys, and even arcades, so how are you setting yourself apart and getting guests to show up at your doorstep?

The truth is, we are no longer really in the market of only selling wine. We are in the market of selling memorable experiences- and that begins with hospitality. The delivery of your product is a service, but the way that you make people feel in the delivery of that product is hospitality.

To have a 5-Star Culture, do you need a beautiful, luxurious tasting room, rolling vineyards, and white glove service? The answer is no! A beautiful tasting room and vineyards, an amazing view, those are things. 5-Star Culture is how you are using those things to create a feeling. Luxury is relative- work with what you have! How are you making people feel? What words would you want people to use to describe the feelings they have when visiting your winery?

Culture change starts at the top and expands through every single employee in the organization. Weak leaders expect change- strong leaders lead the change. There must be owner-buy in to create a change in culture. From there, it’s important to view your employees as equals to your guests. Richard Branson says “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”  Too often we hear there’s a disconnect between the way the winery expects guests to be treated and the way employees are treated.

How can you excel in providing a 5-Star Culture at your winery?

  • What is your why? Know it, name it, and believe it- it should run through every customer touchpoint.
  • Make sure that it’s relative to your brand.
  • Understand your target audience
  • Know more about the customer than anyone else
  • Use this knowledge to anticipate what they want from your experience
  • Get closer to the customer than anyone else- who are they, where do they shop, eat, live, etc.
  • Emotionally connect with the customer better than anyone else
  • Anticipate what your guests don’t know they need
  • Understand the experience should touch all customer touchpoints
  • 5-Star is about controlling the chaos and keeping CALM. Anticipate chaos and put “if, then” procedures in place. (i.e. If the point of sale is down, then have a written form near the register, etc.)

When committing to a culture change, be prepared to do just that. It does not happen overnight. It takes commitment, consistency, and endurance.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you create a 5-Star Culture at your winery, email lindsay@vingdirect.com or call 512.308.2908, or … click here!