Transparency can often be a bitter pill for businesses to swallow, and a recent example in the Netherlands is providing a vivid illustration. Launched in March, Sterwijnenthuis is a web shop that sells the very same wines that top-rated restaurants serve, but at dramatically lower prices. The result is that some restaurateurs have threatened legal action. Working from the wine lists of the top 60 Dutch restaurants, Sterwijnenthuis now sells about 350 of the same bottles online at prices starting at EUR 5.80. Not only that, but next to each wine it sells the site lists the name of the restaurant whose wine list it came from. Also available on Sterwijnenthuis are sommelier advice and taste test results. Though Sterwijnenhuis founder Gijs den Hollander argues that his site uses only publicly available information and that it presents an opportunity for restaurateurs to increase confidence in their brands, restaurants aren’t so sure. By making their markups on wine plain for all to see, the effort has drawn considerable outcry from the Dutch Alliance Gastronomique and individual restaurateurs, as can be seen in a recent report in the Telegraaf. We’ve seen similar transparency brought to industries across the board, and there’s no denying the shock can be painful for the companies involved. The only strategy when that happens, however, is to embrace the new transparency your customers demand, as our sister site would point out. That way, instead of suffering under transparency tyranny, you can thrive on transparency triumph. An example to learn from!
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