Working in Hospitality: Product Knowledge

Certificate II in Hospitality – dealing with conflict at work or at schoolFood and beverage encompasses the service provided to customers in regard to food and a wide variety of beverages. It incorporates a wide range of menus and service styles. Undertaking a school-based traineeship in hospitality will help you understand that you need to be aware of customer needs and expectations and the correct way to perform your duties to meet customer service standards.

Customer service is:

  • Providing assistance to customers

  • Dealing with their enquiries

  • Finding the right solutions to problems, queries and requests

  • Ensuring that the customer’s needs are met

In order to provide high quality, professional customer service, you must have well developed skills in dealing with people, as well as good knowledge about the products and services that your establishment provides.

Product knowledge can be defined as an organised body of information about products and services offered to customers, which can be utilised to influence customers buying decision, resulting to customer satisfaction.

You need, therefore, to know everything you can about the products offered by your establishment. A good knowledge of your establishment’s menu, ingredients and cookery methods, pricelists, wine lists and the ability to recommend any of these to a variety of customer needs is vital.

Products offered will vary from establishment to establishment but wherever you work it is your responsibility to know what you are selling.  Types of products for which knowledge would be required may include:

Types of Food

Types of Beverages

  • Appetisers
  • Soups
  • Entrees
  • Main meals
  • Desserts
  • Cheese & fruit platters
  • Snacks
  • Specialist cuisine items


  • Wines
  • Fortified wines
  • Spirits
  • Liqueurs
  • Beers
  • Non-alcoholic drinks

Many customers will base a purchasing decision on the advice and depth of knowledge about products that you offer. You are in a position to influence a customer’s purchasing decision and to provide the product and service that meet their needs. Working in the hospitality industry requires you to obtain in-depth knowledge of the venue’s products and services.