Let’s be honest, in regards to the food and wine industry, running a restaurant would be the hardest gig. It takes a brave individual to take the plunge and open a restaurant. When you consider the hours, pressure on family time and ultimately, the end profit, it makes running a successful restaurant as easy as walking across a tight rope in Port Melbourne (ie damn near impossible).
Then to take it one step further, one of the main ways restaurants can actually make some money to pay wages, rent, etc is by selling wine. There is not much money to be made in food. Some restaurants sacrifice profit for the love of their customers and allow individuals to Bring their Own Wine to be enjoyed in a restaurant. This is a gutsy move and not many restuarants can pull it off long term.
If I wanted to run a successful restaurant, the temptation NOT to offer BYO would be pretty strong. As a business decision, it is CRAZY to offer BYO. However, I am glad that there are some restaurants that offer the privilege of being able to bring your own bottle to their restaurant.
Hence, we should not abuse this privilege that BYO restautants offer. I am not talking about your cheap Chinese suburbian BYO restaurant nor local Pizzeria that gives you tumblers to drink your wine out of. I am talking about those fine dining restuarants that go the extra yard with food, service and good glassware. By allowing BYO it means that you can bring that special bottle to be drunk with food you can not simply cook at home.
In the UK, there is actually a ‘BYO Wine Club’ that has been set up as a business (click here to read more http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/483384/byo-wine-club-debuts-in-uk-restaurants ) and whilst I do not agree with everything, it is interesting to read their ‘Club Rules’:
Do not bring an open bottle of wine unless agreed with the restaurant in advance.
Quality restaurants in Melbourne that allow BYO (places like Matteo’s, Scopri, Mister Bianco, France-Soir, etc) don’t do this so you can enjoy a bottle of Yellowtail or Brown Brothers Moscato with your meal. Please don’t abuse the privilege: bring a bottle that justifies their BYO offer.