Recently, Bill Kramer, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, posted an article outlining the benefits of cloud-based subscription services for small and medium-sized businesses. We found it so compelling that we adapted it for our service and industry.

“When a change that makes something more powerful also makes it simpler, it’s probably a good idea.”

~ Paul Graham,

Co-Founder and former CEO, Y Combinator

We’re closing in on the end of 2018 and by now only an estimated 2% of restaurants are using digital wine lists despite their introduction a decade or more ago. Restaurants adopting digital wine list technology tend to grow their wine sales significantly more than their competitors who don’t. With restaurants needing all the help they can get to compete in a crowded field, moving to the cloud should be a classic “no brainer”, right?

Restaurants, particularly independents, lag significantly behind other industries in adopting cloud technologies and that impacts their ability to compete in today’s mobile first world. Many restaurants are still confused about what a cloud-based digital wine list is, exactly how it functions as well as what it can do for them. Others are keeping their current practices because of the impulse to “go with what you know” – even if current practices are haphazard due to lack of wait staff training or frequent turnover. Whatever the reasons, it appears the question “Why move to a cloud-based digital wine list?” still needs to be answered for many restaurants. So here are some answers:

Want More Profit?

Restaurants that move their wine list to our Pro Wine Guide cloud-based service just make more money. Our clients can point to double-digit growth in wine list sales compared their previous year over year sales. Embracing a Pro Wine Guide cloud-based digital wine list is a proven path to faster growth, and that alone is a compelling reason for restaurants to make the move. Need more than that? Read on…

Reduced Capital Expenditures

The high cost of smart tablet purchases and staff time to implement app-based digital wine lists can make them very painful for restaurants to take on with the on-premise only approach. The cloud subscription model eliminates these up-front capital expenditures. That means you’ll be able to take on critical kitchen equipment repairs or upgrades without your digital wine list digging into to your cash flow. That’s good for business.

Lower Costs

Beyond the CapEx benefits, there are a number of ways moving to Pro Wine Guide can cut costs. You no longer have to pay your wine specialist to install and update app-based wine lists, setup and manage tablets, run down missing tablets or replace broken ones. If you’re using a PDF or JPEG on your website, you can replace the text only version with a full-color, interactive wine list showing your current selections and pricing. If you’re using text on page, you’ll eliminate your website provider’s cost and turnaround time to update your wine list.

You’ll also eliminate uncomfortable tableside discussions with dining guests who are using consumer facing apps showing non-professional crowd-sourced tasting notes and ratings along with retail pricing.

Greater Business Flexibility

Our Pro Wine Guide cloud-based digital wine list allows restaurants of any size to advertise their wine list any time from any location. In a mobile-first/cloud-first world, the ability to reach your potential customer on any phone, tablet, or laptop in the golden hour before dining means giving customers the information they need to quickly make dining decisions. And that means more — and happier — dining guests.

More Value

With the hassle of producing an up-to-date wine list document and keeping staff on top of new selections offloaded to Pro Wine Guide, your highly-tasked time resources can be focused on more strategic tasks like addressing equipment problems, improving the guest experience, fostering best practices among wait staff, and getting more value out of your investment in your wine program.


With Pro Wine Guide, regular wine list updates are handled for you. Your dining guests and servers will always have the latest selections with tasting notes — and winemaker videos where available — without you maintaining them yourself, so you get the maximum benefit from our investments without any additional cost or effort on your part — you can focus on growing your business instead.

Cost-Effective and Scalable

With Pro Wine Guide, restaurants have increased flexibility to grow and scale without hassle. As you add locations or more wine selections and increase website traffic, Pro Wine Guide can scale along with you. As your restaurant business grows, you won’t need to pay for more tablets or wine specialists to support that growth.

Improved Communication and Productivity

The opportunity for guests and servers to communicate more effectively and remove wine speak barriers in your restaurant translates to greater employee productivity. Pro Wine Guide offers collaboration capabilities that can’t be matched by on-premise app-based digital wine lists. And when you standardize the wine list experience, the benefits are multiplied wine sales. When Pro Wine Guide helps guests and servers to speak the same lyrics, the productivity gains can be transformative for your wine program.

Happier Employees

Servers who are selling more wine than previously can take home higher tip averages leading to a better living wage and longer length of employment. That’s a huge plus in an industry that employs nearly 10% of the American workforce (28% of which are students) and where the National Restaurant Association estimates annual turnover at 75%.

Protection Against Loss

Tablets get lost, stolen or damaged all the time. Beyond the cost of replacing them, there is the cost of losing their availability to the dining guests. When moving your wine list into the cloud, your Pro Wine Guide wine list is available any time, anywhere on any internet-connected device.

Increased Competitiveness

A Pro Wine Guide cloud-based digital wine list is the great equalizer. Moving to the cloud gives small and medium-sized restaurants access to technologies that were previously out of reach. You can offer guests the same sophisticated wine list experience as high-end steakhouses, resorts and cruise lines offer to their well-traveled wine-savvy guests. Running a Pro Wine Guide digital wine list allows restaurants to act more quickly than competitors who are dependent on wine distributors slow turnaround on printed wine list production.

Ready for the Cloud Yet?

Pro Wine Guide can let restaurant guests and servers access your wine lists from anywhere at anytime, with any internet-connected mobile device, while helping you grow your wine sales. As you can see, the benefits of moving your wine list to Pro Wine Guide are tremendous. Conversely, the cost of not moving may be the very ability to compete in our increasingly digital, mobile world. With Pro Wine Guide now available that is purpose-built for restaurants to complement their wine program, there’s never been a better time for restaurants to make the move to the cloud.

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