Upselling on

What is upselling? And what are the best upselling techniques and skills you need to boost your profits?

In the previous article, we spoke about the different ways you could boost your sales, with upselling your customers being one of them. So what is upselling? How do you do upselling yourself, and how do you train your staff to upsell your customers?

When your customer walks into your restaurant and sits down at a table, he only has one goal: eat. He isn’t really looking forward to much else, especially if his appetite is warmed and ready. Of course, he will have to look through your menu to decide what he wants to eat, but this isn’t the primary reason he came to your restaurant. Your goal should be to reduce the amount of time it takes for your customer to come to a decision, which is something you can use in your favour. By having a menu that highlights a dish that immediately helps your customer make a decision, you’re doing both him and your restaurant a huge favour.

The best way to upsell your customers is via your staff. Your waiters are the first (and sometimes only) point of contact between your customer and your restaurant, so having a well-trained, professional and friendly staff is crucial to your business. Using your servers to upsell your customers can go both ways; if your servers are good, not only will they be able to successfully upsell your customer, but they might also be able to convert your customer to a regular, which boosts sales even more. But if your staff is bad at customer interaction, and they end up annoying your customer instead of helping them, you can expect your customer to never return. So hold regular meetings with your staff and letting them know exactly what state your business is in. Make sure they know how to encourage your customers to continuously buy higher priced food, while also ensuring that the customer makes a decision on his own. Never push your customer to a decision, just gently nudge them instead.

Small check list to think about is:

-How long does the customer wait to be sited?
-Do we offer him option in the bar to consume before sitting him down? Getting the customer to wait at the bar will create upsell and its less likely for them to leave if they have started to eat/drink.
-Does your staff greet the customer with a smile?
-Does your staff start off with drinks?
-Does your staff offer the “restaurant specials” “chef recommendation”?
-How many empty glasses do you count on top of the tables? Is your staff trained to offer another drink?
-How many desserts / appetizer are you selling? Does your staff offer them?

Your staff are all sales people, they have the power to upsell convince your customer to purchase more. There is nothing better than a well trained staff. How can you get them to sell more? Easy start a competition or rewards program where you can give a price to number of full menu sold (appetizer main and dessert) or most sold desserts, drinks. Im sure you will see your sales sky rocket! You just need to have the correct alignment and motivation for your team.

Having a daily special menu seems like a good opportunity for restaurants that have occupancy rate. You want the customer to rotate and get 2x or 3x rotation of customers to chairs, so speed is everything and getting them moving should be in your priorities. On the other hand, restaurants that have less occupancy and where the customer has more time you can start by upselling and getting them drinks, appetizers before the main dish! And of course dessert and coffee.

Online, you also have a good opportunity by using the power of bundling dishes. For takeaway users, meals or combo, bundling dishes make a good idea to an easy sell. When a customer opens up your menu online and sees the best value bundle filled with things he mostly likes, there is very little chance he’ll ignore it. But every customer is different and they all like different things, so how do you decide what to put into your bundle?

As with most things when managing your restaurant, what you put into your bundles should be very calculated. Stuffing together a pizza with a side of pasta isn’t going to work. There are a couple of things you need to take into consideration, such as what dishes people like more during different hours of the day, and which dishes sell best in your region. Even if you have this data, it won’t be of much help to stick all the best-selling dishes together, in a hope that people will come tripping over their feet to get to your bundle. No, you also need to see what dishes people generally buy together, and adjust your bundles as such. Finally, and most importantly, you need to ensure that the bundles help your profits. This is much easier to do with bundles where you can mix high-cost food with low-cost food to give the customer a fairly reasonable price.

Does doing all this look very complicated to you? Well, it is! No one ever said running a business would be easy! However, we here at understand that you might want to upsell without having to spend a fortune on data analytics, which is why we offer our partner restaurants all the data they need to create the bundle best for both you and your customers. Just drop an email at, and we’ll send you what you need to get a good idea of what the top selling items in your area are, along with information on which dishes go best together, and a ton of other data. Don’t know what to do with the data we sent you? No matter, we’ll personally come to your restaurant and help you figure out the best way to upsell your customers.

Figuring out all these things can be hard, and we know how busy you can get while running a restaurant, so if you need a helping hand, just hit us up!

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