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Satisfying Your Customers with Beverage Choices

Water. It's necessary to sustain life, but to many Casual
Dining restaurant chains it contributes to a dull dining
experience for the customer. Many customers choose tap
water not because they enjoy it, but because it is what
they always have drunk in the past. In response, some
restaurant chains are implementing programs to help
train crews to sell alternative choices to tap water, like
soft drinks and non-carbonated beverages, with the goal
of increasing overall guest satisfaction. Because of its
own successful campaign against water, The Olive
Garden\256 has recently sent a powerful message to the
entire restaurant industry - less water and more
beverage choices mean happier customers.

Olive Garden restaurants, like many other Casual Dining
locations, were facing a high water incidence rate. They
wanted their restaurant crews to emphasize the broad
array of alternative beverage selections available, with
the hope of reducing tap water incidence. Olive Garden's
goal was to influence customers to abandon their
default choice of tap water and experience other
beverage choices to improve their dining experience.

The Olive Garden asked Coca-Cola USA-Fountain (CCUSA-Fountain) to
help them create their beverage plan.
CCUSA-Fountain stepped up to the plate and suggested a tap water
reduction program named H2NO.

Satisfying Your Customers with Beverage Choices

H2NO is a crew education kit containing information
about beverage suggestive selling techniques (a
technique used when a server suggests a profitable
beverage in place of water to the customer during the
ordering process). It matched perfectly with what Olive
Garden had envisioned. Restaurant managers and servers
use the kit to emphasize the wide range of beverage
selections available, including soft drinks,
non-carbonated beverages and alcohol. As a side effect,
overall check averages should increase, and remember,
increased check averages mean higher profits for the
restaurant and more cash in servers' pockets.

Olive Garden restaurants embraced the program and even
took it to a higher level. H2NO
was incorporated into the
restaurant chain's schedule of
monthly skill sessions where sales
managers (store managers) led the
crew through training exercises. In
addition, The Olive Garden developed an employee
incentive contest linked to H2NO with CCUSA-Fountain
called "Just Say No to H2O."

Olive Garden sales managers set beverage sale store
goals and server goals in connection with the contest. All
restaurants that reached the combined goal had a
chance to win an all-expense paid trip for servers and
the management team to Atlanta, Georgia. Other prize
packages containing Coca-Cola merchandise were

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