Wine Tasting with Your Groceries? Whole Foods Invites Customers to Sample the Selection

Alcohol awareness training isn’t just for bartenders and servers in Nevada. Grocery and convenience store clerks and cashiers in Clark and Washoe Counties are also required to obtain their TAM® Cards (Nevada Revised Statutes). Off-premises liquor sales account for a major chunk of sales in Nevada, and employees of these establishments need to be just as familiar with the Techniques of Alcohol Management® as those who are serving drinks to bar patrons. Given this, Nevada off-premises professionals are already in a great position to support a move to bring bars into one of its upscale grocers… if Whole Foods brings this new feature to its Nevada locations! That’s right, the upscale grocer known for organic and locally sourced items is looking to expand its offerings in an effort to entice customers to stay longer, enjoy the selection of goods, and boost sales of beer and wine.

According to an article by Bruce Horovitz in USA Today titled, “Whole Foods Tests Bars Selling Craft Beer and Local Wine in its Stores,” Whole Foods has made the decision to open bars in about a dozen of their locations across the country serving craft beer and local wine. If the response from thirsty shoppers is positive, chances are good that even more locations across the country will start offering this service. While Whole Foods isn’t trying to compete with traditional bars, it’s clear they think this service will appeal to their niche market.

What do you think about this surprising move by Whole Foods? Do you think grocers are inviting trouble by allowing their shoppers to linger in the store over a glass of wine? According to spokeswoman Kate Lowery, Whole Foods certainly isn’t worried about a rowdy crowd. They’ll be checking I.D. when necessary and monitoring guests, just like any other bar. Kudos to Whole Foods for exploring this new bartending market! Read more of Bruce Horovitz’ article here.

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© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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