Up-selling made easy

By 3.8 min readPublished On: August 22, 2018

Up-selling is when you offer customers the opportunity to purchase additional items to benefit, enhance, supplement or otherwise improve upon their current purchase. Strategic entrepreneurs understand that customers are far more likely to increase their purchase while already in “buying mode.” These incremental gains can be key to generating profits.
Up-selling is your “every little bit counts” strategy, in that every up-sell leads to a small increase in the price of a meal. Think about the phrase “would you like fries with that?” This is a classic example of up-selling – a sales technique used to sell additional goods or services to existing customers.

You may already be using menu modifiers on your POS to give your servers the opportunity to up-sell, but you can definitely be doing more.
Too many servers fear up-selling. Their top concern? Seeming too pushy. However, when up-selling is done right it enhances the guest experience and builds loyalty – all while increasing sales.
There are classic menu modifiers for the main course like adding avo to a sandwich or cheese to your burger. How about adding modifiers to your appetizers and deserts? Like adding meat to your mac and cheese balls, or liqueur to your coffee.
Everyones human, and we forget so let’s help your servers remember to ask for all the added extras. They won’t be able to move on to the next option if they haven’t asked. This works particularly well when they use portable devices to take orders direct from the table. It’s a win win here, servers increase the sales for you which hopefully increases their tips.

 Self ordering kiosks are great for many reasons. Customers can order exactly what they want by adding as many add-ons they can without having to speak to a human. However the main reason is that its been proven the average spend per customer increases when using a self-ordering kiosk. Its definitely more embarrassing to add EXTRA cheese and bacon when you have to tell someone instead of typing it. No judgements here.

Have you ever been to a really fancy restaurant that recommends drinking the Pinot Grigio with your fish entrée? Well this is an example of cross-selling, which is different then up-selling.
However, you don’t need to be a fine dining restaurant to utilize this. Try adding the below to your menus:
Look over your menu for frequent pairings
What items are frequently ordered together? You may have a tasty salad option on on your starter menu that’s frequently ordered with a soup ; you’ll want to list those out as a pairing. Also check out which beverages like beer and wine that are frequently ordered with different meat dishes. Now you’ve created your first pairings by pulling these reports from your POS. Now that you’ve recognized which items are selling together place them next to each other as suggestions on your menu.

Put your restaurant on the map with online delivery apps. This is a great way to place your business next to competitors, while gaining new customers as well.
Similar to the self ordering kiosks, apps are a great tool for up-selling and cross selling as your customers don’t need to interact directly with a human being to place there orders. The online apps prompt users as they’re ordering there meals for different add-ons, and you can’t go to the next step until you’ve answered. There are lots of delivery apps out there, so find the ones that fit your business best.
The key here is to not be too pushy-instead you want to be part of the customer experience that gives them exactly what they want and will bring them back to your establishment. Up-selling is a necessary strategy for restaurant success, but as you can see from the above, it doesn’t have to leave a bad taste in your customer’s mouths.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,
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