Do guests want restaurants' recommendations?


Do guests want restaurants' recommendations?

Wine bottles

When it comes to providing excellent guest service in restaurants, finding the perfect balance can be a tricky business. No guests want their host constantly hovering over their shoulder and waiting to pounce, but neither do they want to be left to their own devices - our recent survey revealed that having to ask for service is the second biggest dining grievance for guests.

Offering pairings or menu guidance can be a particularly difficult area, with a very thin line between staff advising or lecturing guests. But although it may seem easier to do away with the entire practice, you shouldn't be encouraging your staff to forego offering pairing recommendations just yet.

Although staff may fear seeming pushy, research we conducted on behalf of Veraison indicated that drinks pairings are welcomed by guests; one in five would select a bottle of wine based on whether it paired well with the food they had chosen. Recommendations are wanted too, as over half (57%) of guests would make a more adventurous wine choice if given more information by staff.

And it's not just wine. Growing drinks menus, while appreciated by guests, are making pairings and recommendations an appealing option for many diners. According to research from CGA Group, it's all too easy for guests to feel overwhelmed by the number of options on offer; 41% said that deciding what to drink is their biggest frustration when going out. Advised pairings and knowledgeable staff able to make suggestions goes a long way to easing this frustration.

Offering food and drink pairing advice has significant benefits for your bottom line as well. One of our surveys revealed that 96% of diners believe that effectively trained staff have an impact on the amount they are likely to spend while eating out. Food and drink pairings allow staff to demonstrate professional knowledge of the menu, as well as showcasing good communication skills - two of the clearest indicators that staff are well-trained. The ability to concisely summarise and explain why a certain drink might work well with a specific dish will encourage guests to have faith in your staff, whilst avoiding the sort of long-winded explanations or pushy upselling techniques that can cause guests to feel pressured or uncomfortable.

With consistent and well-planned staff training, you can ensure that your team is prepared to offer discreet and personalised food and drink pairing recommendations that boost the overall guest experience without encroaching too much on diners' time and patience.

Back to Blog