I was recently asked why we host wine dinners at Corner Kitchen (and Chestnut). Great question! This goes all the way back to one of our first “philosophical” credos: That our company should work like an Equilateral Triangle. To explain, Kevin and I knew that if we tried to balance all things in our business, that we couldn’t possibly go wrong. We identified the three main groups that Westmoreland & Scully serves. 1. The guests and the greater Asheville community 2. The employees 3. The owners. We believed (and still do) that if any of the three groups is unduly favored, the others would suffer. To pro-actively avoid that kind of thing, we carefully monitor things like guest satisfaction and loyalty by reading comment cards and listening to our front of house personnel. We look at wages, which is why we are Living Wage Certified for Asheville. We try to stay abreast of our Prime costs to ensure that the company is financially healthy. In short, we listen; our practices are often defined by what we hear and see.
So, how does this relate to wine and beer dinners? Another good question! First of all, the wine dinners allow us a platform to reach out into our community. We contact Wine Distributors asking them if they have something special and particularly interesting that they want to have people try. Usually we decide on a theme. Sometimes our date will coincide with a vintner visiting the area and we get to have the actual winemaker speak at the event. Additionally, we reach out to our guests via our mailing list. It is a great way to engage our guests in a new and interesting way.
It also gives the cooks and Wait-staff an opportunity to make a departure from the daily grind of our regular menu. They get to cook and serve foods that are frankly more interesting and often more complex that the usual fare. This speaks to teamwork and also brings joy and fun to everyone involved.
We as owner don’t make a whole lot of money on the Wine Dinners but we see our “share” of the proceeds in a more nuanced way. We get to “turn people on” to new items that they may never have seen before. It is a great marketing tool because the Wine Dinners are always memorable.
So, next time you get notice of a special Beer of Wine Dinner at Corner Kitchen, sign up, because ticket go fast!
Check out The Corner Kitchen’s upcoming events here.
…And events at Chestnut here.