In nearly every training manual, at nearly every restaurant, there is a section on using adjectives to sell.  This is often the extent of the sales training in them.  They encourage you to use words like “awesome” and “incredible” to sell the food to guests.  The authors of the manuals picture an army of servers bounding to the tables talking about how “awesome” the nachos are or the “incredible” margaritas.  They envision the guests will be overcome with curiosity and order these items in droves.   The new server fresh out of training goes to the table confident in this finely tuned sales pitch, only to be met with an eye role from the guests.  Discouraged, they decide eventually to just take the order.

The idea of using words to sell is important, but most companies do not take the effort to adequately explain how to do it.  This leads to poorly crafted and obvious sales pitches that are more likely to alienate a customer than convince them to buy.  The use of generic adjectives like “awesome” or “incredible” is so overdone that it can actually put guests on the defensive.  It can create an adversarial relationship with the guest that is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.  The key to avoiding this is to use words that inform guests, paint a picture, and emphasize qualities they are looking for in their meal.

Here are some guidelines to think about when selecting your words:

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