The Four Ps of Product Knowledge: Does Your Waitstaff Know Them?

The more your waitstaff knows about your menu items, the more comfortable they’ll be suggesting them to your guests. So, when training servers on product knowledge, use the Four P’s:

  • Portion – How many potato skins do you get? How many ounces is the steak? How big is the salad? How many layers is the chocolate cake? When you quiz your team during pre-shift meetings, you might be stunned to find out how many details they’ve forgotten.
  • Preparation – Is it grilled or baked? Squeezed with lemon or lime? Stir-fried or sautéed? Often it’s the smallest detail that makes the sale… and gains the customer’s confidence. When servers know the complete preparation of each menu item, customers are more willing to accept their suggestions and splurge on that dessert or other add-on item.
  • Presentation – Is there a garnish? A sizzling plate? A cutting board or a bread bowl? When your servers can accurately add these details, they’ll create interest and intrigue (and sales!).
  • Price – You would hope that your servers are well-versed in the prices on your menu, but do they know – and provide – the price of specials? Often customers shy away from ordering your most prized meals of the evening, because the server didn’t include the price in “our specials tonight…” description. Because they don’t know, customers assume that those items are too costly… and select something else on the menu.

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