With the industry relying more and more on technology and seeing some restaurants go to having their wine list is on an iPad. What are your thoughts on this new concept? Is the industry going down this route and are guests preferring this over the old wine list.
We transition our lists over to digital 2 years ago (we were using about 26,000 sheets a year between the 2 restaurants), and although it's definitely not perfect, I wouldn't want to go back personally. Being able to add or delete bottles, change vintages, or correct mistakes on the fly is great. As an extremely seasonal place (Aspen) the wine list is constantly changing, and by that I mean by 100s of SKUs.
However, we spent a lot of hours with the development team cutting out all the features of their wine list software with the idea of having a paper list in a digital format. When a guest gets the list, it's already on the table of contents listing our categories. Then after clicking a category, it goes to a simple list of wines that looks like paper but you can scroll it. We also have 4 somms on staff, so there is no reason for the list to have additional info because we want to keep it personalized.
Honestly, I expected to get a ton of flack from guests for a digital list but have had only rare occasions. I think that is also only due to our extremely simplified UI. In that case we always keep a couple paper lists (printed from the software) and that info goes into guest notes.