The Staffing Dilemma- Are You Up for the Challenge?

The results are in!  Wines and Vines just released its winery jobs report for 2017.  January kicks off very strong with a 22% increase in DTC hiring over January 2016!  While this is great overall news for growth prospects in our Industry, it offers some new challenges for wineries in an area that has already experienced a drought all its own…. Attracting, hiring and retaining top talent.

        As more wineries pivot to enhancing their routes to market around the direct to consumer model, they are finding good sales, marketing and hospitality talent is hard to find and harder to keep.  Not only is there a gap forming in relation to supply and demand, wineries are also feeling the significance the front line team has on the outcome of front line sales.  Let’s face it, >85% of DTC sales originate in the tasting room and over 50% of DTC sales consistently happen there.  Businesses need their customer facing teams to not only create memorable experiences, they also need to have skilled professionals who know how to qualify, sell and close business, exceed revenue goals, capture and grow ongoing relationships with top customers, operate and manage CRM and technology tools with precision and efficiency, and smile continually from the moment they arrive until they walk out the door.

         As hiring needs increase and competition continues to grow, wineries will need to take a hard look at how they consider these pivotal roles and the impact they have on the business.  They need to reassess what they have to offer, not just what the employee can give to them.  I encourage wineries to employ the same strategies attracting and retaining employees as they do with their top customers:

  1. Creating memorable experiences
  2. Consistently demonstrating the WOW Factor
  3. Integrating personal/ demographic segmentation strategies
  4. Educating and Upselling
  5. Leading with value proposition
  6. Offering incentives for loyalty
  7. Delivering White Glove Customer service
  8. Recognizing and rewarding for revenue or contribution

             If wineries integrate these customer value best practices across their personnel management program, I can guarantee they will recognize similar returns:  More qualified candidates, increased sales performance, closer relationships and longer term commitments. 

As you gear up for busy season, are you ready for the challenge?

    Join us for two unique opportunities to learn how to address these challenges by attending a panel discussion at the Luxury Marketing Council Winery Boot Camp on March 1 at the Lincoln Theater and/or register for a DTC Web Track seminar on this trending topic through our on line Learning program:

DTC Manager WebTrack
More Info & Registration:
“Talent & the Tasting Room-
Tackling the Staffing Dilemma”





Luxury Marketing Council
Winery Boot Camp-
More Info & Registration:
“The Staffing Conundrum”


Contact us for more information or to schedule a complimentary staffing assessment consultation.

Based out of Napa California, Virtual Vines provides project based Direct to Consumer sales and marketing consulting services & training programs designed to help wineries build and implement successful DTC market strategies.  For more information please visit us at