One Blog |February 3, 2021 | Blog

Looking ahead to – and preparing for – a bright 2021

Mark Fullerton


Server: “Welcome back, here’s our new wine menu.”

Customer: “Great, thank you – I’ll have your finest Super Tuscan, please.”

Server: “The 2017 is an excellent choice.”

Customer: “Let’s pop the cork!”


Let’s pop the cork indeed. The light at the end of the Pandemic tunnel is getting brighter. Additional vaccines – said to be the fuel that will accelerate the nascent economic recovery – are on the way. The second half of 2021 appears to be when the American consumer’s pent up demand (due to being themselves “pent up” in their homes) is expected to translate into hundreds of billions of dollars of spending. January 2021 data has identified there is over two-trillion dollars of “excess” savings in the bank accounts of US consumers. That’s a lot of stimulus.


Surveys indicate the consumer wants to spend some of those trillions – and one of the top activities consumers have said they’re looking forward to spending money on is dining out. The US consumer, suffering from COVID-fatigue, is looking forward to patronizing both fast-food and gourmet-fare establishments alike and every type of restaurant in-between.


For beverage-alcohol distributors, this optimistic outlook is music to their ears and suggests second half 2021 sales, according to some economists, should come back with a roar.  For wine wholesale distributors (WDs) they will need to gear their in-house marketing departments and media/print shops to create all new menus and, perhaps, to create new menus and menu inserts on a more frequent basis in order to respond to state requirements geared toward reducing the spread of the Coronavirus. You may already be seeing new state guidelines in your market that require your restaurant customers to provide disposable, clean (sanitary) menus for their customers in order to reduce the spread – even after widespread availability of vaccines.


It should be noted, these guidelines even if not government mandates, are likely to be adopted by restaurants as another assurance of “no-Covid-19” and to attract virus wary customers.


For wine WDs these new menu requirements are likely to require an increase in their menu budgets. As marketing costs increase and “menu refresh” requirements are added, we firmly believe now is a great time to consider adopting an automated menu workflow, tracking, and bill-back management system.


Not long ago we compiled some data from four of our wine, spirits, and beer WD customers. Here’s what we found:


  • In the past twelve months, four top US wine, spirits, and beer distributors – all OnTrak customers – spent, in aggregate, over $5,224,000 on their menu and POS programs, and were, thanks to MenuTrakable to recover over $4,694,000 (90%) from their suppliers because the WDs were in compliance with the marketing cost recovery program data and reporting requirements of their various suppliers (breweries, distilleries, and wineries.)


Additionally, our WD customers, were able to much more quickly and accurately compile and file their marketing bill-back claims.  According to Lipman Brothers, Nashville, “We can now file our monthly bill-back claims in one day using MenuTrak – it used to take a week using our manual procedures. This is a huge time saver for us, and we now can collect all of the marketing bill-backs we’re due.”


Another top-ten wine and spirits distributor told us that once they had MenuTrak implemented, their vendor chargeback reporting requirements were satisfied only one day after the previous month’s end and in several of their branches, MenuTrak increased their bill-back amounts by over fifty percent.


Rather than just describing what an automated menu management application that makes it easy to order, track, measure, and does most of the work required to collect supplier bill-backs, we’ll just invite you to see it for yourself by clicking here:




After you take the 5-minute tour, check out the ROI your company will enjoy by using our quick ROI calculator here – we’ll show you the money:




At OnTrak, we’re convinced of three things:


1. 2021 will see the consumer’s pent up demand for dining out – and consuming wine, spirits, and beer on-premise – virtually explode during the second half of 2021.

2. MenuTrak™ will make your at-retail, on-premise marketing programs much more efficient, more effective, and compliant with the post-pandemic requirements for “clean menus.”

3. MenuTrak™ will assure that your bill-back claims will be complete (and your bill-back amounts larger) and they will be paid more quickly than with your labor-intensive manual system.


For more information or a custom demonstration, please Click Here.


If you’re wondering, “Do they have any white papers?” – the answer is, yes, we do. Here’s one:




I don’t know about you, but I am anxious to get off my couch and be seated at my favorite Italian restaurant. Talk about “pent up” demand!

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Wine & Spirits Wholesales of AmericaNational Beer Wholesalers Association Path to Purchase Institute

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