Typical Roles at a Wine Shop

Customers coming to a wine shop will expect professionalism and expertise from your employees. You will need to hire at least a manager and one or more salespeople, and later you can consider hiring a stock clerk as well.


This is the first role you’ll need to think about when building your team. In many cases, the business owner can act as his/her own general manager.

Typical Salary: $35,000 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Hiring and scheduling employees
  • Keeping track of inventory
  • Adhering to health and safety standards
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction

What to Look For:

  • Previous management experience
  • Ability to manage customers’ complaints
  • Available for many shifts, as they are an integral part of everyday business



Salespeople help customers pick out wines. At first, the owner could fulfill this role.

Typical Salary: $32,500 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Explaining the differences between wines to customers
  • Assisting with wine pairings

What to Look For:

  • No specific education level needed
  • Experience working with or selling wines is a plus
  • Must be able to demonstrate knowledge of different types of wines

Wine Shop Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

Wine shops should be professional and classy environments (as opposed to the average liquor store). While you can start out as the wine expert of your store, you may want to hire additional help as your store takes off and you need more time for administrative tasks. Alternatively, you could hire a part-time administrative help to give you more time on the floor interacting with customers.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

Wine sales is a fairly steady industry, but not just anyone is qualified to sell wines. Advertise for employees around town at events like wine tastings, as you need to attract interviewees that are already quite knowledgeable about wines. Also advertise online, and make sure that your job description accurately portrays the mood and mission of your business, as well as the roles and expected qualifications of the candidate you are looking for.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most wine shop owners look for employees who are:

  • Knowledgeable about wines
  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Good at upselling

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • How flexible is your schedule?
  • What is your favorite wine?
  • What kind of wine would you suggest that a customer pair with fish? Red meat? Pasta?
  • Why are you well suited for sales?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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