One of the biggest stumbling blocks to servers when trying to make the jump from casual dining to nicer restaurants is describing nightly specials. Learning to describe the dish in a way that makes it sound appealing without tasting or possibly even seeing the item can be difficult. Many restaurants offer multiple specials on any given evening, which only serves to make it more complex. Add to that the limited amount of time you have to learn it before your first table and you have a very stressful situation. It is imperative that you have a system in place to learn and recite information about the items you offer in a way that makes them appealing to the guest.
We have already discussed the importance of offering a recommendation and what words to use in it. The skills discussed here are particularly relevant to servers who have to recite specials nightly, but can be employed by all servers. When you offer a recommendation off the menu, you need to be prepared to describe the food in greater detail than the menu provides. Describing food, whether it is on the menu or a nightly special, must be done in a way that makes the food appeal to the guest and paints a mental picture for them. Ideally you want to create a mental picture of the entrée in their head while describing the flavors that make it exceptional.
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