AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! Customer orders need to be taken accurately. As part of the ordering process, customers will identify which item they desire and a preferred preparation style, be it a food or beverage item.
The most common food preference is regarding the degrees of ‘doneness’ of steaks. It is important to note on the order how the guest wants their steak cooked. Degrees of doneness are:
- Blue - steak is seared on both sides then served
- Rare - steak is served when browned on both sides, and meat still contains blood
- Medium rare - steak has less blood than a rare steak, though blood is still just present
- Medium to well-done - steak is cooked all the way through, no sign of blood
- Well-done: steak is cooked very well – a little burnt on the outside and definitely no sign of blood.
Most food items will be specifically identified on a menu, however, many people will order a drink without referring to a menu. At times customers will indicate a specific drink in a generic manner. For example, they may ask for a ‘gin and tonic’ without specifying a particular brand. As can be seen in this picture, there is a wide selection of gin products.
There are many different products and brands available, with more coming onto the market seemingly every day. It makes good sense and excellent customer service, to check with the guest regarding their preference.
1. Personal preference
Some people are devoted to a certain brand and simply won’t drink anything else. Examples may be Jim Beam bourbon, Gordon’s gin and a diverse range of Scotches.
Some people consider the price and are happy to drink a cheaper, domestic brand if one is available. They will appreciate you pointing this out to them.
2. Pour and call brands
Behind the bar, most venues stock a ‘pour’ brand, as well as several ‘call’ brands. You must know what these are in order to answer customer questions and to provide the drink that satisfies their identified need and preference.
A ‘pour’ brand, sometimes referred to as a ‘house’ brand, is the brand of beverage that will be poured if someone doesn’t specify a brand name.
If the customer simply asks for a ‘Scotch’, then they haven’t indicated a preference for one particular brand, so it doesn’t matter what brand you pour them just so long as it is Scotch. In these cases, the ‘pour brand’ will be supplied. Usually pour brands are cheaper alternatives to recognized national brands, but sometimes they are the better known, better quality, premium national brands.
A ‘call’ brand is the brand ’called out’ by the customer. Instead of just asking for a Scotch, the customer would ask for a specific brand, perhaps a ‘Dewar’s’ or ‘Chivas Regal’. Most bars will stock a range of call brands, but no bar can stock them all.
You need to become familiar with the ones you stock so that you can accept an order straightaway, or inform the customer that you don’t stock their preferred brand. Always be alert to the possibility to up sell the customer to a more expensive brand. Where you don’t have the call brand that the customer asks for you should apologize for not having the brand asked for or offer an alternative.
Read also: What You Must Check Before Starting a Service Session
Nurturing You to Grow®
Written by: Alan Hickman, Nick Hyland
Subject Matter: Provide food and beverage services