Bruce, this makes sense only if the restaurant is busy enough that it can replace the byo people who are scared off by the high corkage fee with others who will order off the list. I get this in Vegas, where they're catering mostly to tourists and high-rollers and there's a pretty much never-ending stream of demand. It makes a lot less sense to me anywhere else.Bruce Leiserowitz wrote:Corey--I'm by no means defending the high corkage policy, but let me suggest a theory. The restaurant would really prefer a customer base that generates the most revenue/profit per turn, meaning that they'll buy the overpriced wines off the list. Now, they could just say "no corkage allowed" but then they suspect they catch too much grief for not letting people bring in their special bottles. So they "compromise" with a $50 corkage fee that discourages many BYOB parties.Corey Miller wrote:Here's what I don't understand about high corkage: The only people I know who care about corkage at nice restaurants are wine geeks (I'm excluding the cheap Indian BYOB places that aggressively target students who want to bring in beer and yellowtail). To everyone else, it would never even occur to them to bring their own wine. But setting corkage high when you already have high markups on the list just tells wine geeks/collectors not to show up. I don't see how that creates any additional marginal revenue. The only people who care about corkage will be driven away, while it will have no effect on anyone else's behavior. And the people you're driving away are the type of people who tend to care a lot about food and are willing to spend a fair amount of money on it, and are likely to spread the word if they have a good experience. How does that make sense?
Another issue is this: if the profit margin a restaurant makes off wine sales is so vital, that just tells you how overpriced the list is.