New Study Reveals Specific Staff Hospitality Behaviors Linked to Direct to Consumer Wine Sales

August 28, 2018

Rohnert Park, California -  The Wine Business Institute (WBI) in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a new study by Dr. Kyuho Lee, associate professor of marketing, and Dr. Anisya Fritz, professional faculty at the Wine Business Institute and proprietor of Lynmar Estate Winery, entitled, "The Impact of Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction on Consumer Spending in Wineries." The article was recently accepted for publication in the Service Industries Journal, one of the foremost academic journals specializing in services marketing and management. Findings revealed that direct to consumer (DTC) wine sales, namely visitors' actual spending at the winery, are directly linked to winery staff's hospitality behaviors, such as kindness and willingness, as opposed to wine quality and reputation of the winery.

"Market trends show direct-to-consumer wine sales represent more than half of overall revenue for small wineries. Our study builds on existing research that indicates service quality is a critical influence on winery visitor satisfaction and loyalty, and it further examines service quality attributes, such as hospitality staff behavior, and their influence on direct to consumer wine sales," Dr. Kyuho Lee, associate professor of marketing said. "The results of the study reveal that wineries can differentiate themselves by developing training programs that focus on specific staff hospitality behaviors that will drive sales."

"The vast majority of wineries in the United States rely on direct to consumer sales. This study specifically speaks to the drivers of engagement at DTC- focused wineries and provides evidence that there is a clear link among customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and a winery's revenue," Dr. Anisya Fritz, professional faculty at the Wine Business Institute said. 

Dr. Kyuho Lee is an associate professor of marketing at Sonoma State University. Specializing in the study of brand management, services marketing, and consumer behavior, Lee brings a wide array of knowledge to his students. His experience includes teaching brand management for the professional and Executive MBA programs at Sonoma State, as well as having his research published in leading academic journals such as The Journal of Retailing and Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. He published a book entitled Strategic Winery Tourism and Management in September 2015.

Dr. Anisya Fritz is a professional faculty at the Wine Business Institute where she is the leading instructor for the Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship. She is also the co-owner of Lynmar Estate Winery, CEO of LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions, and co-founder of the Fritz Institute, dedicated to global humanitarian aid. She has published articles in Harvard Business ReviewJournal of International Business Studies, and Strategic Management Journal, among others.

For more information about this and other wine business research or for information regarding wine business degrees and programs, please call (707) 664-3235, email winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.