Knowledge can be a key aspect of being a good server. Whether it’s knowing how to pair a perfect wine with a dish or providing a bit of insight to the nomenclature of a particular food item, the extra detail can be impressive, augmenting the guest’s experience and perhaps adding to the value of the tip at the end of their visit. If you work in the front of house, you should know about what happens in the kitchen. And if you’re in the kitchen, you should have a working knowledge of what happens in the bar or restaurant. And if you’re interested in hospitality management, you’ll want a knowledge of just about everything.
The online world is full of ranging from food-themed games like Pizza Tycoon and Milkshake XXXtreme by NetEnt to TikTok videos on making cocktails and cupcakes. But one of the best ways of becoming an expert in food and drink is to discover the plethora of brilliant apps out there. Below, we list some of the best that cover various topics relating to food and drink, and that anyone with an interest in a hospitality career should explore:
Note: Most apps are free, whereas some are freemium, i.e., they may push for in-app purchases.
One of the issues with sommelier apps is that they sometimes target those who are already experts or promote the sale of wines outside the price range of normal people. Just Wine is just right, allowing the user to jump in at their current level of expertise and grow their knowledge to the desired extent. What we love most about Just Wine is personalization, with the app allowing you to scrapbook your notes and put your own spin as you build your wine knowledge.
Feedly is all about food trends. So, the head chef has told you that there is going to be swordfish on the menu for the next few weeks? Just pop some keywords into the app, and voila, you’ll be able to dazzle your colleagues with the latest trends relating to the dish. It’s a brilliant app for anyone who wants to progress to restaurant management or ownership.
There’s an abundance of cocktail apps out there, and it can be hard to sift through the good from the poor. However, Cocktail Flow constantly comes up among the best in class among mixologists. One of the things we like about is, as with Just Wine, it makes no assumption about your level of knowledge in mixology. Choose your level, then dive in and start growing your knowledge. The UX and design of the app are brilliant too.
One of the more frequent issues that modern servers have to deal with is questions about the health benefits of certain dishes. In that respect, Yummly can be a brilliant companion to have. It’s not a healthy food app, as such, it’s more about recipes and the “mechanics” of food. It’s the latter that can turn you into an expert, allowing you to advise on everything from energy to dietary information.
Promoted as a beer-judging companion, BJCP packs a lot into its app. It is, in our view, an app for those who want to know about beer and sell it. Often used by sales representatives, the free app can keep you up to date on craft beer trends, the history of certain brews, and tell you what makes a great beer. It’s also free.
Extremely Skilled Waiter
Both a game and app for training as a server, Extremely Skilled Waiter is a fun simulator that gives you an insight into the buzz of restaurant service. You won’t learn how to deal with irate customers, but it will give you an insight into how your physical skills can be built up as you learn the ropes.