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

In this video by Real Server Training, we’ll cover exactly when to swoop in for a refill, how to encourage just one more cocktail, and tips for crafting a relaxed vibe where customers happily order freely. We’ll even get into reading body language and always being ready as tables are filling up again! Little things make a big sales difference here.

Key Takeaways for Servers:

  • Continuously scan tables to stay ahead on drink needs – don’t let glasses sit empty
  • Casually offer the next round when glasses are low to keep the flow going
  • Keep water glasses full to aid thirst during salty/savory meals
  • Use a subtle soft sell approach – signal your availability without pressuring
  • Read cues unobtrusively to anticipate moments guests may want another drink

If bigger bar tabs and better tips sound good, make sure to watch this serving skills video! Just click the play below to start watching the in-depth upselling guide right now! Or read on, and I’ll break down effortless alcohol sales boosting – easy stuff.

The Art of Table Scanning: Never Let Them Run Dry

As a server, one of your top priorities is keeping a close eye on drink levels at your tables. An empty glass should immediately catch your attention – it’s a flashing red light indicating a need to swoop in swiftly. You make a point to never let a glass sit completely dry for more than a moment. This requires reading tables like radar screens – continuously scanning to stay ahead.

Why such urgency over empty glasses? Because keeping drinks flowing smoothly equals better tips. It’s that simple. Nothing signals bad service like a half-eaten plate of nachos next to an empty margarita glass with salt coating the rim. Busily scanning tables helps you avoid this fate.

Of course, alcohol is your moneymaker. So cocktail, wine, and beer glasses get closest scrutiny. But you also diligently refill water to help wash down salty foods and aid digestion. Refilling drinks before guests need to ask embodies quality hospitality.

Waiter taking drink orders in restaurant

The Art of the Upsell: Gently Encouraging Orders

While providing stellar service is imperative, you also subtly nudge guests towards ordering more drinks. After all, your income depends partly on check averages. But it’s a delicate dance – no one wants to feel pressured.

The art is casually offering the next round when glasses get low. This continues the flow while drinks get refreshed. You listen close to detect moments when guests might want another. Body language, conversational lulls, scanning the room – all subtle cues. Then you sweep in, asking if they’d like you to bring another in the usual friendly tone, not pushy at all. Keeping it low key is key, but signals your readiness to serve.

When glasses are still half-full, however, you always let guests be. No need to disrupt their enjoyment and conversation. Too much enthusiasm has the opposite effect intended. The goal is smooth continuity matching their preferences.

Pairing Drinks and Food: Always Quench Thirst

You understand alcohol’s limitations during dining. Whiskey may perfectly complement nachos, enhancing flavor profiles. But chips and salty meats demand copious hydration. A few cocktail sips simply won’t cut it.

That’s why you pay such close attention to water levels. Keeping water flowing enables patrons to better enjoy their meals along with chosen drinks. You make sure eating and drinking harmoniously balance taste and quench. This exemplifies full hospitality spectrum mastery.

Waiter Serving Water in Restaurant

Mastering the Soft Sell: Subtle Artistry

While boosting beverage sales boosts your tips, avoiding excessive pressure is imperative. Guests must feel completely comfortable ordering as much or little as they want. That’s why you’ve mastered the art of subtle suggestion.

When bussing tables, you don’t pretend you aren’t assessing drink levels. But neither do you overtly inspect each glass. Just a smooth, natural gaze sweep – nothing brazen. This relaxed protocol signals your readiness to serve more anytime.

This soft sell approach proves most effective. Customers perceive your attention and willingness to fulfill needs. Then, you manifest those desires swiftly by appearing just as they consider ordering another round. Mind reading through nuance – a fine art.

The key is blending attentiveness with total eased casualness. Guests feel at liberty to order freely, knowing you’ll fulfill requests promptly. Facilitating enjoyment is your sole focus.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, exceptional drink service comes down to reading your guests and delivering drinks tactfully. By keeping a close eye on table dynamics, you’ll learn to recognize thirst signals and cue into the perfect times to swoop in. Meet needs – don’t make them.

The ultimate goal is to facilitate uninterrupted enjoyment by keeping glasses full. The more seamless and effortless you make the ordering process, the higher your sales will climb. Maneuver through cues fluidly like a true hospitality professional.

Soon, you’ll be raking in those tips without ever disrupting the flow. Guests will start to see you appear just as desires materialize – almost like magic! But remember, it’s artful perception and timing, not sorcery. Master these subtle skills of anticipation for serving success!

Was this guide helpful? Do you have any tips you’d like to share on how to sell more drinks? Let us know below! 👇


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