How to Sell More Drinks as a Restaurant Server: Timing is Everything

Looking to increase your drink sales as a restaurant server? In the video below, Real Server Training has got you covered! In this informative guide, we will explore effective strategies to help you sell more drinks without being pushy. Timing is key when it comes to selling more drinks, so we’ll discuss the importance of being available when your customers are ready for another round.

Additionally, we’ll talk about the power of subtle suggestions, prioritizing hydration, thoughtful Coca-Cola refills, and the importance of consistently scanning your tables. By implementing these strategies, you can boost drink sales while maintaining a positive and customer-centric approach, ensuring your guests have a refreshing option at hand without feeling rushed or pressured.

As a dedicated server, you understand the value of attentive service and the importance of timing. The video guide by Real Server Training will equip you with strategies to sell more drinks without coming across as pushy. By utilizing subtle suggestions, prioritizing hydration, managing soda refills thoughtfully, and consistently scanning your tables, you can enhance your customers’ dining experience and increase your drink sales.

So get ready to master the art of upselling drinks with finesse and provide exceptional service to your guests. Cheers to selling more drinks and keeping your customers satisfied!

Timing is Everything

Being available when customers are ready

When it comes to providing exceptional customer service in the restaurant industry, timing is everything. Being available when customers are ready is crucial for ensuring a positive dining experience. As a server, it is important to be attentive to the needs of your customers and approach their table at the right time.

This means being observant and proactive in identifying when they are ready to order, need assistance, or would like their bill—being available when customers are ready shows that you value their time and are dedicated to providing efficient and personalized service.

Anticipating customer needs

Anticipating customer needs is another crucial aspect of providing exceptional service. By taking the time to observe and understand your customers, you can proactively meet their needs before they even ask.

This can include offering recommendations based on their preferences, anticipating drink refills, or providing extra napkins or utensils without being asked. Anticipating customer needs shows that you are attentive and committed to making their dining experience as enjoyable as possible.

Approaching the table at the right time

Approaching the table at the right time is an art in itself. It requires the perfect balance of attentiveness and respect for personal space. Nobody likes to be interrupted mid-conversation or feel rushed to make a decision.

As a server, it is important to gauge the appropriate time to approach the table based on the atmosphere and the pace of the meal. By approaching the table at the right time, you can ensure that your customers feel comfortable and relaxed, allowing them to truly enjoy their dining experience.

Waiter taking drink orders in restaurant

The Power of Subtle Suggestions

Avoiding a hard sell

While upselling can be a valuable technique to increase sales, it is important to avoid coming across as pushy or aggressive. Instead, focus on using subtle suggestions to make customers comfortable and open to trying new things.

For example, instead of saying, “Would you like to upgrade your side dish?” try saying, “Our garlic mashed potatoes are a popular choice with this dish, would you like to give them a try?” This approach allows customers to feel empowered in their decision-making while still being exposed to new and potentially enjoyable options.

Using phrases that make customers comfortable

The language we use as servers can greatly impact the comfort level of our customers. Using phrases that make customers comfortable can create a welcoming and positive dining experience.

For example, instead of saying, “What do you want to drink?” you can say, “What can I get you to quench your thirst?” This simple change in wording creates a friendly and personable atmosphere, allowing customers to feel more at ease and ready to engage in conversation.

Letting them know you’re attentive without pressure

Customers appreciate when they feel like their needs are being met without feeling pressured. As a server, it is important to let them know that you are attentive and available to assist, but without creating any sense of urgency or obligation.

Simple gestures like checking in on them periodically and offering assistance if needed can go a long way in making customers feel valued and cared for. Remember, it’s all about striking the right balance between attentiveness and letting them enjoy their meal at their own pace.

Waiter Serving Water in Restaurant

Prioritize Hydration

Importance of keeping customers hydrated

Hydration is essential for a pleasant dining experience. By prioritizing the hydration of your customers, you can ensure that they are comfortable and satisfied throughout their meal.

Drinking water not only quenches thirst but also aids digestion, keeps the body refreshed, and enhances the overall enjoyment of the dining experience. As a server, it is crucial to understand the importance of keeping customers hydrated and to actively offer water to refresh their palates.

Offering consistent water refills

Consistency is key when it comes to offering water refills. By regularly checking on your customers and refilling their glasses, you demonstrate your commitment to their well-being and satisfaction.

Empty glasses can be a distraction and may make customers feel neglected, so it’s important to keep a close eye on the water levels at each table. By offering consistent water refills, you ensure that your customers remain hydrated and comfortable throughout their meal.

Quenching thirst with non-alcoholic options

While alcoholic beverages often take the spotlight when it comes to drink choices, it is important to offer a variety of non-alcoholic options for those who prefer not to drink or are underage.

Mocktails, iced teas, flavored waters, and refreshing fruit juices are all great alternatives to alcoholic beverages. By providing a diverse selection of non-alcoholic options, you cater to the preferences and needs of all your customers, allowing them to quench their thirst and enjoy their meal to the fullest.

Thoughtful Coca-Cola Refills

Balancing soda refills

Soda refills can be a tricky thing to navigate as a server. On one hand, you want to provide excellent service by keeping your customers’ drinks topped up. On the other hand, offering unlimited or excessive refills can lead to unnecessary waste and may not be in the best interest of your customers’ health.

Striking the right balance is essential. By offering refills at appropriate intervals and gauging the customer’s preferences, you can ensure that their thirst is quenched without overdoing it.

Offering 2-3 refills as a courtesy

As a courteous gesture, it is advisable to offer 2-3 refills of Coca-Cola or any other carbonated beverage throughout the meal. This allows customers to enjoy their drink without feeling rushed or pressured to finish it quickly.

It also shows that you are attentive and dedicated to providing exceptional service. Offering 2-3 refills strikes a perfect balance between fulfilling the customers’ needs and preventing excessive waste.

Letting customers take the initiative for more

While it is important to be attentive and offer refills, it is equally important to respect the customer’s choice if they decline additional refills. Some customers may prefer to enjoy their meal without having multiple refills, and it is essential to honor their decision.

By allowing customers to take the initiative for more refills, you demonstrate respect for their preferences and create a comfortable dining environment. Remember, it’s all about providing options, not forcing them on the customers.

Timing is Everything: How to Sell More Drinks as a Restaurant Server

Scan, Scan, Scan

Consistently scanning tables

Consistently scanning tables is a valuable habit for servers to develop. By regularly scanning the dining area, you can quickly identify customers who need assistance, have empty glasses, or may require additional condiments or utensils.

This proactive approach allows you to anticipate their needs and address them promptly. Consistently scanning tables also helps in preventing any gaps in service and ensures that every customer feels attended to and valued.

Anticipating customer needs

Anticipating customer needs goes hand in hand with consistently scanning tables. By observing the behavior and dining patterns of your customers, you can predict their needs before they even express them.

For example, if a customer consistently enjoys adding extra hot sauce to their dish, you can proactively bring them a side of hot sauce without them having to ask. Anticipating customer needs not only enhances their dining experience but also showcases your attentiveness and dedication to providing exceptional service.

Preventing gaps in service

In a busy restaurant environment, preventing gaps in service is crucial. By consistently scanning tables and anticipating customer needs, you can ensure that there are no interruptions or delays in delivering exceptional service.

This means promptly refilling drinks, providing condiments when requested, and addressing any issues that may arise. By preventing gaps in service, you create a smooth and seamless dining experience for your customers, leaving them satisfied and eager to return.


To enhance the dining experience and boost drink sales, servers need to blend timing, subtlety, and attentive service while ensuring guest comfort. The key is being available when customers need support – this involves anticipating their needs and approaching them at an opportune time to create a personalized and pleasant atmosphere. Alongside this calculated approach, servers can also use subtle suggestions as opposed to hard-selling tactics that increase customer satisfaction by creating an inviting atmosphere.

A focus on hydration through consistent water refills and offering non-alcoholic options is necessary for keeping guests refreshed throughout their meals. When it comes to Coca-Cola refills, courtesy-led first few services combined with allowing patrons to initiate further requests seems to be the perfect balance. A server must regularly scan tables, anticipate customer needs, and avoid service gaps in order to provide impeccable attention timely. Implementing these strategies will lead not only to excellent dining experiences but also increased customer satisfaction; fostering loyalty among patrons.


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