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Wine Bar Manager: 5 Facets of the Manager Job Description

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The job of a wine bar manager is to keep a wine bar running smoothly, with customer satisfaction always in mind. A wine bar manager is much like a bar manager or bar owner. They also have the knowledge and capabilities of a wine salesperson. Someone who has experience working at a winery would be a good fit. 

The right wine bar manager will know the best type of red wine, the best type of white wine, and everything in between. They’ll have a mental list of wine bar supplies and an intimate knowledge of the art of opening a wine bottle. They will also have familiarity with wine bar cabinet and shelf storage

If you’re learning how to open a wine bar, and you’re going to be the wine bar manager or hire one, read on. This blog post is your place for practical tips and general practices a wine bar manager needs to know. 

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How to Be a Wine Bar Manager

There are a few paths to how to be a wine bar manager. If you’re opening a wine bar and keeping your staff small, you’ll likely be the manager for your wine bar. This will add to your duties in relation to how you work in the wine bar every day. That said, the job of being the wine bar manager isn’t too different from being a wine bar owner. 

If you’re looking to hire a specific wine bar manager, you should look for someone with managerial experience, wine experience, or both. A sommelier could be a good choice. A food and beverage director from the hospitality industry would also suit your business. 

These upcoming five attributes of the wine bar manager job and ideal person are something you should be aware of. If you’re hiring a wine bar manager, watch out for these skills. If you’ll be taking on the job, work on these in your daily practices. 

5. Organizational Skills

Organizational skills may seem basic, but they are vital for any sort of managerial position. You’ll need them to manage the team, the customers, and the physical location and inventory, including cases of wine. Organizational skills get their own spot on this list because of how crucial they are. 

4. Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is another often overlooked but extremely important factor in managing a business. The daily work of a wine bar manager is busy, you’ll be pulled in many different directions. Attention to detail in each direction you’re pulled will help you manage everything with care. 

3. Employee Support

Employee support is one of the most constant responsibilities of a wine bar manager. It’s your job to make sure you are backing up your employees when they need an extra set of hands. Additionally, you need to be there when a customer is getting out of hand. 

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2. Wine Knowledge

Wine knowledge is specific for a wine bar. It will come in handy when you’re dealing with customers and making suggestions. You can start by enjoying some wine options and learning about the main wines you sell. Beyond that, studying wine and taking some sommelier classes will help you learn more. 

1. Customer Service

Customer service comes in at the number one spot because it is the primary focus of any customer-based business. You’ll need customer service experience. Experience in a bar is extra helpful. That said, any level of customer service experience will be sufficient. 

"Key Takeaway: The job of a wine bar manager is to keep a wine bar running smoothly, with customer satisfaction always in mind."

Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Wine Bar Manager

Being a wine bar manager is a busy job. It’s rewarding in the clientele and the ability to share a love of wine. That said, it comes with a lot of work. Some of that work is specific to a wine bar. Other aspects of it are shared by every bar manager throughout the bar and restaurant industry. 

Our answers to these frequently asked questions will help you feel more comfortable with the wine bar manager position. If you’re hiring, ask yourself these when you’re interviewing, or adapt them to be interview questions. If you’re embarking on the adventure yourself, keep these in mind when you’re learning the job.

What Does a Wine Bar Manager Do?

A wine bar manager is responsible for the daily operations of the wine bar, as well as larger business needs. For the daily operations of the wine bar, most responsibilities are:

  • Managing employees
  • Helping customers
  • Doing perpetual inventory and activities like SWOT analysis
  • Opening and closing the wine bar
  • Handling complaints
  • Managing finances

The larger business needs are similar to those daily tasks, but on a larger scale. They often include a monthly budget check, more extensive inventory checks, and a review of operational efficiency. 

What Skills Do You Need to be a Wine Bar Manager?

The primary skills you need to be a wine bar manager are basic managerial skills, as well as customer service and organizational skills. These are the basics of any managerial position in the bar and restaurant industry, retail industry, or hospitality industry. 

A wine bar manager should also have skills with wine serving and knowledge of wine. This can come from being a sommelier (see: sommelier definition), someone in wine sales or wine marketing, or someone who has worked at a winery. It can also start as a general appreciation of wine. 

Is a Wine Bar Manager a Good Career?

Yes, being a wine manager is a good career choice if you enjoy wine, customer service, and working in a unique business environment. It’s not for everyone. There are folks who love wine but prefer to work as a wine-tender. There are managers who enjoy their work but don’t love wine. 

A wine manager who loves every aspect of their job is a unique blend. That’s not unlike some of the best wine blends. If you’re thinking about it, odds are you’ll enjoy working as a wine bar manager. 

Do Wine Bar Managers Bartend?

In many instances, yes, the wine bar manager will work as a bartender. This can be dependent on how busy any given day is. Another factor is whether an employee is out sick or has time off. The wine bar manager is responsible for covering for those employees. Sometimes that duty also is balanced with a head bartender or supervisor. 

What Is a Wine Manager Called?

When we dove into this question, we found the unique wording is searching for this specific answer: sommelier. A sommelier is a wine expert. There is a specific level of master sommelier that has a recognized level of wine knowledge. A sommelier often works as the wine manager in a wine bar, regular bar, or restaurant. They are common in Michelin star restaurants. 

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Wine Bar Managers: Mind Your Wine

A wine bar manager is an integral part of the structure of a well-run wine bar. If you’re going to be a wine bar manager, or you're hiring, the skills and experience outlined in this post will help you along.

When you’re ready to open the doors of your wine bar, come back to the BinWise platform. BinWise Pro, partnered with the BinScan mobile app, can ease the process when you take inventory. You can pair BinWise with BlueCart to master your order management system

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