AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! As part of the ordering process, customers will identify which item they desire, be it a food or beverage item. Quite often, it may be up to the waiter to help explain or recommend what is available.
Most food items will be specifically identified on a menu, however many people will order a drink without referring to a menu. Therefore the focus on this section will be based around clarifying beverage orders. At times customers will indicate a specific drink in a generic manner.
For example, they may ask for a ‘gin and tonic’ without specifying a particular brand. There are many different products and brands available, with more coming on to the market seemingly everyday. It makes good sense and excellent customer service, to check with the guest regarding their preference.
Some people are devoted to a certain brand and simply won’t drink anything else. Examples may be Jim Beam bourbon, Gordon’s gin and a diverse range of Scotches. Some people consider the price and are happy to drink a cheaper, domestic brand if one is available. They will appreciate your pointing this out to them.
Pour and call brands
Behind the bar, most venues stock a ‘pour’ brand, as well as several ‘call’ brands. You must know what these are in order to answer customer questions and to provide the drink that satisfies their identified need and preference.
A ‘pour’ brand, sometimes referred to as a ‘house’ brand, is the brand of beverage that will be poured if someone doesn’t specify a brand name. If the customer simply asks for a ‘Scotch’, then they haven’t indicated a preference for one particular brand, so it doesn’t matter what brand you pour them just so long as it is Scotch. In these cases, the ‘pour brand’ will be supplied. Usually pour brands are cheaper alternatives to recognized national brands, but sometimes they are better known, better quality, premium national brands.
A ‘call’ brand is the brand ’called out’ by the customer. Instead of just asking for a Scotch, the customer would ask for a specific brand, perhaps a ‘Dewars’ or ‘Chivas Regal’. Most bars will stock a range of call brands, but no bar can stock them all. You need to become familiar with the ones you stock so that you can accept an order straightaway, or inform the customer that you don’t stock their preferred brand.
Always be alert to the possibility to upsell the customer to a more expensive brand. Where you don’t have the call brand that the customer asks for, you should apologize for not having the asked for or you can offer an alternative.
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Nurturing You to Grow®
By Alan Hickman, Nick Hyland
Subject Matter Take food orders and provide service