How to Take Drink Orders as a Restaurant Server

Efficient Ways to Take Drink Orders: Essential Tips for Restaurant Servers is a video by Real Server Training that offers valuable strategies for improving your drink order-taking skills as a restaurant server.

When customers first sit down at a restaurant table, one of the server’s opening moves is to take their drink orders. While it may seem straightforward, there are actually techniques involved to ensure this goes smoothly. This article will explore a server’s thought process to make drink ordering an efficient process.

Greeting Tables: Take Time to Connect

When initially approaching freshly seated tables, resist diving right into rattling off specials or taking drink orders. Instead, dedicate about 15-30 seconds upfront simply making authentic human connections.

Warmly welcome guests and establish direct eye contact to show you’re fully present and eager to guide them through an amazing dining experience. This foundation of trust paves the way for seamless service.

Reading the Table

Before taking drink requests, discreetly assess the table vibe. Are guests animatedly chatting and glancing around distractedly? Or do they seem focused on reviewing menus and preparing orders? Tailor your approach accordingly.

If they appear open and ready, confidently inquire, “What can I get started for y’all this evening?” But lively conversation likely signals they need a minute. Politely ask, “Would you folks like a few minutes with the menus?” Then display drink options and mention you’ll grab waters while they peruse. More on this strategic offering in a bit!

Pro Tip: Resist leading with water off the bat. Prematurely dropping off glasses swipes precious minutes better used to guide drink decisions.

Driving Decisions

If they need time, I make sure to point out our drink menu. Drawing their attention to it helps them focus. I also let them know I’ll be back shortly with waters. This sets up a timeline in their mind that I’ll return soon to take their order. They understand they have a few minutes to decide.

I’m not rushing them, but rather steering the experience. My goal is guiding them towards making a timely drink decision when I return. This keeps things moving smoothly.

Efficient Ways to Take Drink Orders: Essential Tips for Restaurant Servers

Put in Alcoholic Drink Orders ASAP

If someone orders an alcoholic drink that my bartender needs to make, I enter drink orders promptly into the system or communicate them to the bartender. By doing so, you minimize the waiting time for your guests and show that their needs are a priority.

This alerts the bartender to get started. I explain to the table, “I’ll go ahead and get your drink order in right away since that will take a few minutes to prepare.” This sets expectations upfront that their cocktails won’t arrive instantly but are in the works.

Related >> How to Sell More Drinks as a Restaurant Server

Mastering Drink Timing

Balancing perfect drink timing is key. Allow natural lulls after appetizers to clear empty glasses and offer thoughtful refills. Before entrees, assess each guest’s beverage status discretely.

Identify glasses nearing empty and swoop in, predicting precisely when more is wanted so the meal continues without disruption. Anticipating needs and magically delivering refills just before asking differentiates advanced servers.

Strategic Water Service

Remember how suggesting water buys critical minutes upfront? Dropping checks too early also annoys guests by rushing experience endings. Savvy servers deploy water strategically once again during transitions like dessert menus or coffee orders to graciously allow settling before conclusion cues arise naturally.

The Takeaway

Mastering drink timing and table reading arts form the very foundation of fluid server success. From initial personalized greetings to keeping glasses brimming precisely when wanted, each drink detail links together into memorable dining experiences worthy of applause…and greater tips!

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