This means Brakes is now offering its customers about 100 wines from regions all around the world. It has also expanded its range of spirits, beers, ciders, soft drinks and mixers to include popular gins, vodkas and tonic waters, in a bid to capture the latest on-trade trends and perfect serve suggestions.
The Bibendum team will also be offering advice to Brakes customers on wine list selection, market insights, merchandising tips and staff training.
Meanwhile, Bibendum CEO Michael Saunders told The Morning Advertiser many people aren’t doing a good enough job on wine, which is leading to poor consumer experiences.
Make more effort
He said: “I blame a lot of the suppliers. Taste what they’re selling to these pubs and it’s disgusting and it’s inexcusable. People need to make more effort to look after their customers, it’s not complicated.”
Saunders added that he doesn’t blame bar employees for the difficulties in wine: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the staff in any outlet, they’re working their nuts off.
"Operators need to make the collateral do the work for you – don’t have rows of dusty spirits bottles behind the bar that no one has touched in a million years.
“I also have a passionate loathing of 250ml glasses. It’s a rotten serve at any level, anyway you look at it, for quality, for wellbeing, it’s just not right.”
He also said when a customer asks what drink a bartender recommends, “the last thing they’re going to suggest is a glass of wine, because they can’t personalise it or put any theatre to it”.
“They’ll say have a gin and tonic, and then it’s great, the customer asks what’s the gin, what’s the tonic and there’s interaction there.
“But if we can do it with gin, why can’t we do it with wine? I blame the supplier and I just think the onus is on us to work with partners to bring that to the fore.
“It’s our job to demystify it, for the young people behind the bars. They probably don’t even drink wine, so how do we make it fun for them and get them engaged with it?”