The Power of Suggestion: How to Upsell in Your Restaurant
The power of suggestion is a subtle art form. It’s also the basis for how to upsell in your restaurant and the trick to pushing up your average check amount. In the end, it’s about the psychology of your customers, playing off their cues and comments. If done correctly, upselling will make them happier and provide a better dining experience.
Turn Servers into Suggesters
Your first and best line of suggestive selling power is your staff. When you are training new hires how to upsell, emphasize that the process needs to be natural. Conversational selling, the mention of specific dishes and drinks peppered throughout the conversation, can be very effective.
Each server should have a repertoire of favorite dishes and drinks they love and are ready to suggest. This will go a long way in providing good customer service and adding a few dollars to the bill. Make sure that your staff has tasted all your more expensive dishes and speciality drinks and can speak intelligently about your menu.
Technology Makes Suggesting Easier
Take advantage of technology as an upselling tool. Online ordering offers ample opportunities for you to make suggestions throughout the order process. With a little forethought you can show related menu items for each dish or offer add-ons like extra sauce, side salads, or bigger portions that a patron might not realize you have available. Being able to just click and instantly add it to their order is enticing and pushes up the final bill.
Pairings and Promotion Suggestions
Here is where your menus (online, print, board, take out) come in handy. Creatively using call-outs to highlight more expensive menu options or suggesting a drink pairing for each entree can start the suggestive selling process from the moment customers start reading. For those patrons who have no idea what they want to eat, creating a visual cue pointing them to specific items helps them with the decision making.
Promotions give your wait staff a great excuse to mention items for upsell, while customers feel like they are getting a deal. Customers might be more apt to take advantage of a price break, justifying the add-on in their minds.
Play it Cool
Of course, your customers don’t want to be bombarded with constant, pushy sales tactics. That strategy might get you some quick revenue bumps, but you risk leaving a bad taste, so to speak, in your customer’s mouth and might lose out on future sales. When considering exactly how to upsell in your restaurant, play it cool, and remember harnessing the power of suggestion is key.