How to Set Wine Prices For Maximum Profits

Backbar Wine Pricing Guide
// By Malika Wichner // , Nov 10, 2023

Topics: Liquor Cost, Wine Knowledge

Are you a restaurant or bar manager looking to maximize your profits? One of the key aspects to consider is how you price the wine on your menu. In this blog, we will guide you through the process of pricing wine to ensure you are not only covering your costs but also making the most of your potential earnings.


We've already walked you throught pricing cocktails and beer because pricing drinks is KEY to making money. 


From understanding the factors that influence wine pricing to implementing effective strategies, we will provide you with valuable insights that will help you achieve maximum profitability in your establishment. So, if you're ready to take your wine pricing game to the next level, keep reading!



Maximizing Profits through Correct Wine Pricing


Understanding the importance of correctly pricing wine at restaurants and bars is essential for maximizing profits in the hospitality industry.

Pricing wine accurately is a crucial aspect of running a successful restaurant or bar. By setting the right price for each bottle of wine on the menu, establishments can optimize their profits and create a positive experience for their customers. The correct pricing strategy takes into account various factors such as the cost of the wine, market demand, competition, and target customer base. When executed effectively, it can lead to increased sales, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, higher profits.


On the other hand, incorrect pricing can result in lost revenue, dissatisfied customers, and missed opportunities for growth. Therefore, understanding and implementing a sound pricing strategy is vital for the success and profitability of any restaurant or bar.



Pricing Wine by the Glass versus the Bottle


Understanding the factors to consider when pricing wine by the glass versus the bottle is essential for maximizing profits in the hospitality industry.

Pricing wine can be a strategic decision that directly impacts the profitability of any establishment. When it comes to offering wine options, there are two common approaches: pricing it by the glass or by the bottle. Each method has its advantages and considerations. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can determine the best pricing strategy to maximize profits.

When pricing wine by the glass, it is crucial to consider the cost per pour, the desired profit margin, and the target market. The cost per pour includes factors such as the cost of the bottle, the portion size, and any additional expenses like staff training or glassware. Determining the desired profit margin is essential for setting a competitive price that aligns with the market while still covering costs and generating revenue. Additionally, understanding the preferences and spending habits of your target market can help you set a price that resonates with your customers and encourages repeat business.

On the other hand, pricing wine by the bottle requires a different approach. Here, factors such as the wholesale cost, the perceived value, and the potential for upselling come into play. The wholesale cost of the bottle is a crucial starting point, as it sets the baseline for pricing. However, it is equally important to consider the perceived value of the wine and how it fits into the overall menu pricing structure. Offering a carefully curated selection of bottles at different price points can appeal to a broader range of customers and increase the potential for upselling.

Ultimately, the goal is to strike a balance that maximizes profits without compromising the quality or perceived value of the wine. By considering factors such as cost per pour, desired profit margin, target market preferences, wholesale costs, and perceived value, you can make informed decisions when pricing wine by the glass versus the bottle, leading to increased profitability for your establishment.


wine pricing 2


Calculating a Profitable Wine Price by Bottle


Learn how to determine the optimal price for each bottle of wine to maximize profitability using a simple equation.

In order to calculate a profitable price per bottle of wine, it is important to consider various factors such as production costs, desired profit margin, and market demand. By using a simple equation, you can ensure that your pricing strategy is not only competitive but also profitable.

The equation to calculate the profitable price per bottle of wine is as follows:


Profitable Price per Bottle = (Total Costs + Desired Profit) / Number of Bottles Sold


First, you need to determine the total costs incurred in producing each bottle of wine. This includes expenses such as grape procurement, labor, bottling, packaging, labeling, and any other overhead costs. It is crucial to accurately calculate these costs to ensure that you cover all expenses.

Next, you need to define your desired profit margin. This is the amount of profit you aim to make on each bottle of wine sold. It is important to strike a balance between setting a competitive price and achieving a satisfactory profit margin.

Finally, you need to estimate the number of bottles you expect to sell. This can be based on market research, historical sales data, or projected demand. The number of bottles sold will directly impact your profitability, as higher sales volumes can lead to economies of scale and lower unit costs.

Once you have gathered this information, you can plug the values into the equation and calculate the profitable price per bottle of wine. Remember to regularly review and adjust your pricing strategy based on market conditions, competition, and customer feedback to ensure continued profitability.

By using this equation and considering the various factors involved, you can confidently determine a profitable price per bottle of wine that will not only cover your costs but also generate a desirable profit margin.



If the restaurant is buying a bottle for $15 wholesale, they’ll likely sell each glass of that wine for $15 or more. Sommelier @André H. Mack explains why🍷 His explanation of pricing wine by the bottle is on our profile too.

♬ original sound - Bon Appétit Magazine


Calculating Profitable Wine by Glass Price


Learn how to determine the profitability of selling wine by the glass using a simple equation.

It is crucial to understand the profitability of selling wine by the glass. By calculating the profitability, you can make informed decisions about pricing and maximize your revenue. One way to measure the profitability is by using a straightforward equation that takes into account the cost of the bottle, the number of glasses it yields, and the selling price per glass. 

Let's consider an example to illustrate this equation. Suppose you purchase a bottle of wine for $20 and it yields five glasses. If you sell each glass for $10, the equation to calculate profitability would be as follows:


Profit per Glass = (Selling Price per Glass - Cost per Bottle) / Number of Glasses


Plugging in the values from the example, we would have:


  Profit per Glass = ($10 - $20) / 5

  Profit per Glass = (-$10) / 5

  Profit per Glass = -$2


In this example, the profitability per glass would be -$2. This means that for every glass of wine sold, you would incur a loss of $2. Evaluating the profitability is essential in this scenario, as it may indicate the need to adjust the pricing or find alternative strategies to increase revenue.

By using this equation, you can easily calculate the profitability of selling wine by the glass. It provides a clear measure of the financial return and helps you make data-driven decisions to ensure the success of your wine business.


Learn everything you need to know about wine and wine sales here!

Malika Wichner

About the author, Malika Wichner

Malika is the Marketing Content Manager for Backbar. Prior to creating content to link industry professionals to Backbar she worked as a bartender and server in Chicago. She enjoys red wine or an IPA with a good book in her free time.

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