Menu Recommendations

These days I’m finding that more people I serve are being more adventurous, and by that, I mean that when they come to a restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner they don’t always go with something specific in mind. The question I’m hearing more now is “What would you recommend?”.

I personally love this question, because I have a love for food, and for me, it’s easy to recommend something that I enjoy.

But not everyone has the same taste as me.

So how can you make recommendations to complete strangers who you know nothing about? Easy, just ask a few questions. I always like to start by telling them what I love eating off the menu, and why I love it, then I stop and ask them the following questions.

  1. So is there anything you don’t like or feel like today? (this helps eliminate allergies, dislikes and other ingredients that the guests may not particularly be in the mood for that day).
  2. Are you hungry or looking for something light? (obviously, you’re not going to recommend a lamb shank or heavy pasta for someone who isn’t hungry, and would probably go for an appetizer or two for their meal and vice versa)
  3. How do you feel about…….? (Depending on the guest this can go either way, you can be a superstar if you don’t ask this question and you order something for them that they love, but if they don’t love it then realistically, and in the guest’s eyes it’s on you. I like to confirm with them what they are ordering first as a safety net for myself).

So the thing here is to ask a few qualifying questions and eliminate the menu items that you know they will not go for. Asking these questions will also show your guests that you actually care about what it is they will eat, and not ordering something for the sake of putting an order in.

Be sure to sound genuine and confident in your menu recommendations and not selling people something to bump up your tables bill (unless you genuinely like the expensive things), because if you recommend something that you like and can describe why you like it to them, then they will be more inclined to go with your suggestion.

In this situation, it makes it easier to suggest an up-sell to go with your recommendation, and this is the way you can bump your bill total up to more without sounding pushy or like a salesperson. For instance, if you recommend that someone goes for a burger then you can say “Do you know what? It’s a lot better with cheese and bacon on it” or for a steak, you can say “Some sautéed mushroom on the side with this dish really makes it something special”. Worst case scenario is that your guest will say “no” and that’s okay.

In conclusion to this post, there really is no wrong answer to the question “What would you recommend?” however with everyone has different tastes and likes all it takes is a few questions to help narrow down a decision for your guests to get a meal that they love and may not have ordered if the decision was their own.

I recommend that you have a wonderful day.