US Women as Wine Consumers in Restaurants

by Eve Resnick on January 21, 2009

in General

A recent survey conducted by Julie Brosterman’s Women and Wine site and Full Glass Research show that American women and European women face the same challenges when ordering wine in a restaurant and have pretty much the same behavior as wine consumers in a restaurant.

Brosterman’s study was conducted through a survey of women present on her web site, women and wine but also on Facebook, LinkedIn, Wine 2.0 and Twitter. She doesn’t mention the exact figure of people who answered her survey, which makes the numbers she extrapoled difficult to assuage. We know that the goup age was 29-44 year-old.

When they are sitting at a restaurant table with male companions, the waiter always hands the wine list to a man. According to Brosterman, “Even more remarkable, 61% of women surveyed noted that even when they had taken charge of ordering the wine, at least half the time the wait staff presented the bottle to the male at the table.” The situation is similar in every European country according to the survey conducted in June 2008 by the International Associated Women in Wine.

What do they order? Because of the financial crisis and lower disposable income, most women order a glass of wine rather than a bottle. Women all agree that wine prices in restaurants are too high. “Although 59% said that ordering by the glass was a “good, inexpensive” alternative for enjoying wine in a restaurant, the leading reasons for ordering by glass were because they didn’t want a larger quantity or because their dining companions each wanted a different wine. 32% said they would scale back on their overall wine purchases in restaurants because of the economy. In light of this, 55% stated that they are comfortable bringing their own bottle and paying a corkage fee – an obvious strategy to cut costs”, wrote Brosterman.

At a time when restaurants are suffering a decrease in patrons, this survey might give them some food for thoughts: why not lower the price of their bottles and reduce their mark up in order to attract more customers? Why not treat women as first class citizens or at least as recognized wine connoisseurs?

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