Waitstaff Training to Increase Drink Sales


With summer just around the corner, now is the time to train your staff to increase specialty drink sales. Step up your marketing and waitstaff training efforts to actively sell summer specialty drinks this season. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Select the right words. Instead of saying, “Would you like to try our Piña Colada? It’s on special tonight,” use words that create a mood. “Our Piña Coladas are blended with just the right amount of fresh pineapple juice, coconut cream, golden Puerto Rican rum and a splash of orange juice. It’s served in a frosted glass with a chunk of pineapple and a tiny umbrella like the ones you find in Jamaica!”
  • Be original. If your bartenders need a boost, check out the hundreds of websites that offer unique drinks. The best ones are those that make you smile when you say them, like “Roseanna Banana Kabana,” “Mint Mojito,” and “Acapulco Sunrise.”
  • Train, train, train. Your servers should know what is in a drink and how it’s prepared. While exact measurements are unimportant, basic ingredients, preparation (shaken, stirred or blended), and the type of garnishes all help sell more specialty drinks.
  • Always use your props.  Train servers to point to a table tent or other point-of-sale tool and suggest at least two different drinks to every customer: “Can I start you off with a Pepper Mary — it’s like a Bloody Mary, but it’s made with pepper vodka. Or maybe a Lemonade Joe — it’s made with top shelf gin and fresh-squeezed lemonade.”
  • Teach product wisdom. Beyond basic product knowledge, train servers on product wisdom. When specialty drinks are described with interesting facts about the product origins, guests can’t wait to find out what they taste like.

Restaurant Service and Sales Training

The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.

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