Restaurateurs must be sensitive to diners needs and not try to boost consumer spend by aggressively up-selling wines, the Academy of Food & Wine (AFW) has warned.
The organisation said that in the current economic climate, it was vital that operators ensure front-of-house staff do not adopt an over-zealous sales technique that drives customers away.
The AFW added that it is important that staff are well trained and familiar with the wines they are selling, as well as be prepared to point out good value wines and draw diners' attention to those offered by the glass or carafe.
AFW director and chief executive Nick Scade said the industry needs to respond to changing market forces to keep customers returning to restaurants.
"It is better to add value with extras such as a free carafe of tap water, special menus focussing on seasonal dishes, or price promotions on weekdays or lunches," he said.
"Some restaurateurs are advising front-of-house staff to try to sell more to customers to increase their spend and boost profits. While this can be a positive thing in a strong consumer market, in a weaker one the focus should be on adding value and encouraging people into restaurants."
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.