How to (not) break into the hot new restaurant

It’s the place everybody is buzzing about.

It’s the place to see and be seen.

It’s the hot new place, and you have no wines on the list.

What not to do:
1) Call and ask who the wine buyer is and then ask to speak to her. (She’s busy enough already.)

2) Show up under the guise of being a customer and drop off your price book and business card. (If you’re there to eat and enjoy, then eat and enjoy. That’s different from selling.)

3) Drop off random samples. (Unless you like your wines to simply be slugged and enjoyed by the staff at the end of the night.)

4) Contact the buyer and start talking about points of differentiation between you and the wholesalers she currently buys from. (She doesn’t care. Honestly. Sorry.)

When it comes to the hot new restaurant, there is only one method that works better than all others to get your wines on the list: show sincere curiosity, interest, attention, and love at what the chef, owner, and sommelier are doing. And whenever possible, let them know it. Social media (twitter especially) is great for this. But the key word is sincere. Any B.S. will show through. Any desperation will show through.

There is no group more attuned to the pushiness of the new car salesman than the person that has no need for a new car.

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