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Appetizers Create Bigger Checks, Bigger Tips

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Operators can have the best appetizer and shareable plates menus, but if servers aren't up to the task of selling them, it's all for naught. While McCain® products like Brew City® Onion Rings and Anchor® Poppers can build appeal and ensure guests are satisfied, servers still need the proper training to make the most of the menu. When it comes to increasing check averages, well-trained servers are a restaurant's greatest asset.

In order to create a more profitable restaurant, servers should not only know how to encourage appetizer sales, they should want to. To accomplish this, operators should share with their serving staff the fact that selling more not only benefits the restaurant's bottom line, it also boosts their own earning potential (higher check averages → higher tips). By letting servers know that more appetizer and shareable sales mean more money in their pockets, operators can foster a win-win environment.

Have operators share these tips with servers to help them boost check averages—and tips:



  • Knowing all the items available helps make your selling more convincing.
  • Don't be afraid to have an opinion. "Everything's great!" isn't the best answer.
  • Have ideas for menu items that pair well with drink offerings—you'll sell more high margin drinks and appetizers while enhancing your value as a knowledgeable server.
  • From Anchor® Poppers® to Brew City® Cheddar Pints, McCain appetizers offer a range of offerings to please all guests.

Be Specific

  • Call out specific items on the menu and include your personal favorites.
  • E.g., "The stuffed jalapeños are just the right amount of spicy and they're served with our house-made beer cheese dipping sauce."

Be Persistent

  • If your first attempt doesn't land an order, try again. And if your restaurant offers a sampler platter, that's a great catch-all for most diners.

Be Conversational

  • Asking groups if they're out celebrating something special helps you keep a conversation going.


Visual Aids

  • Use table tents and pictures in the menu to show guests how exceptional your dishes are. Hearing is one thing, seeing is another.
  • Be sure to reach out to your McCain representative for more information about the latest tabletop selling tools.

Friendly Competition

  • Set up contests among servers to see who can sell the most of a certain menu item. Reward the winner with a gift card or other incentive.

Quick Tip Guide

  • McCain offers helpful tip cards that servers can keep in their folios for quick and easy reference. Visit either the Bar & Grill page or the Family Dining page for access to these and more server tips.