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The Do’s and Don’ts of Upselling in Your Restaurant

Feb 12, 2017 | Restaurant POS, Uncategorized, Weekly Articles

Last time we discussed the best way to convince your servers to upsell at your restaurant. However, motivation on its own really isn’t enough. To really make upselling successful, you and your staff need to become skilled in the fine art of reading body language and gentle persuasion.

There’s a lot that can be said for practice, and every person will have their own techniques, but there are some general do’s and don’ts of upselling in your restaurant. So let’s review some of the do’s and don’ts of upselling inside your restaurant.

The do’s.

Start early

Begin to upsell as soon as you approach the table. Offer a free taste or sip as an opening. Always ask, “May I start you with a first course?”

Follow the host

In big groups, there’s usually a host who’s managing the part. Pay close attention to the host’s cues when dealing with a large party. If the host is not receptive to suggestive selling, then simply hand guests the menus.

Read the customer

Ascertain the customer’s preference before trying to upsell. If customers are unsure of what they’d like, ask leading questions, then make suggestions based on their answers.

Be definitive

The better prepared you are to speak about menu items, the more effective you can be. Knowledge builds confidence and confidence sells.

Use the power of suggestion

Showcase proprietary menu items that make the operation stand out. When carrying a beautiful drink, dish or dessert to a table, take the long way through the dining room so other guests will see it.

Do the split

Items that present good opportunities to split or share may constitute additional sales. Sharing an item implies that the menu item will be presented on a single plate with an extra plate on the side. You can easily talk about how easy it is to share the dish, and even offer to split it up at the table for everyone.

Set the stage for dessert

Once you clear the table, remove the salt and pepper, present the dessert menu. This psychologically prepares the guest for dessert and an after-dinner beverage. Your chances of selling at this part of the meal are greater if you prepare the guest for the selection process.

The don’ts.

Don’t provide excessive descriptions

Read the body language at the table to make sure you’re not rambling. Some people do not want an overly long detailed description of your menu items. Usually, servers should stick with a brief and appealing description, and let the guest inquire for more information.

Only offer coffee or tea

Sometimes to not appear pushy servers will only mention coffee, tea, or soft drinks as options. If your restaurant is known for having the best margaritas in town or has a great wine selection your servers should mention it. This especially goes for drink specials depending on the hour and day.

Assuming guests aren’t interested in dessert

Sometimes servers are too timid to ask and just assume guests don’t want an extra food after their meal. Remember, your guests are already treating themselves to dinner, perhaps they only need a little nudge!

Ignore the empty water glass

Happy guests are more likely to splurge on extra items. Don’t let your guests become irritated with a low beverages,your servers should be keeping it filled.

How your point-of-sale system can help you upsell.

You can also use technology to help. Some point-of-sale systems are designed to remind servers with a prompt to offer an appetizer or dessert. The POS system will suggest upsells based on what each table has previously ordered.

If you’re interested in other ways to help your bottom-line, check out our free e-book where we’ll reveal the pros and cons of buying a POS, give you a list of features that are must-haves, and help you choose a merchant services provider.

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