Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques

Opportunities for up selling come along all the time in your restaurant or cafe and unless you and your staff take advantage of them you are leaving money on the table so to speak. Today I wanted to give you some information on how to capitalize on these opportunities to make you more sales, combined with having the right restaurant management tools will get you the results you require. OPPORTUNITIES FOR UPSELLING There are basically three areas we can outline to up sell to a customer. 1. Set opportunities 2. Up-sell 3. Spontaneity (monitoring customers' needs) The quality of being spontaneous and coming from natural feelings without constraint. SET OPPORTUNITIES A Set Opportunity means that there are set times that are suitable to suggestive selling, from when the customer enters the restaurant to when they leave. There are three'-such Set Opportunities: 1. When the customer is initially taken to the table 2. When the order is taken 3. When dessert is ordered OPPORTUNITY 1. When taking the customer to the table it is a good opportunity to let them know about drinks. Saying something like "Would you like a wine, cocktail or soft drink while you think about your order?" is a good way to have them make a decision as to what drink they may like. OPPORTUNITY 2. When the order is taken, many waitpersons will make the mistake of asking a `closed' question like, would you like an entree? A better way is to `assume' the sale. Try something like "which entree would you like to try sir/ma'am?" If an entree is declined, proceed to the next opportunity, which is asking which main meal they would like, perhaps suggesting a favorite. Upon the customer choosing, it provides another opportunity to `upsell' to say a larger serve or a side order etc.

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques
OPPORTUNITY 3. Asking for the dessert order can sometimes produce and obstacle for the unwary waitperson. Many customers will say no because they have just finished eating and feel a little full. However, the astute waitperson will see an opportunity. By `seductively' describing what desserts are available or describing `their' favourite, they can sometimes entice the customer to have a dessert. Appearing' to accept the customer's `no' decision can create another opportunity. By suggesting that they bring the dessert menu back `later' will give the customer a chance to have the main meal settle and perhaps when they are approached later, they may be able to be enticed. UPSELLING Probably the most famous up selling phrase is "how about a bottle of chardonnay / shiraz to accompany your meal sir / madam?" Many people nowadays actually refer to up selling by that phrase. So use it to your advantage - because it works! As a general rule, when a customer orders one thing, ask if they would like another `thing'. It is a good idea to have set `up sell' items. Think about other items like appetizers, salads, soup beverages, and desserts. After the meal for example, referring back to the dessert opportunity, if the `follow up' dessert offer is still declined, then offer after-dinner drinks. DOWN SELLING A different (indeed opposite) approach to up selling is down selling. As the name suggests, it's a matter of suggesting a higher priced and/or quality product in the beginning and if the suggestion is not heeded they can then suggest a `down market' or less expensive item. This can be particularly effective when the customer is a little indecisive. CROSS SELLING Similar to upselling and down selling, cross selling is about suggesting something of similar value but of a different range but perhaps with a better margin. For example, if your guest orders a bottle of Tall Horse Chardonnay but you run out of item but you have the Tokolosh Chenin Chardonnay in store, then begin to `Cross Sell' it in place of the Tall Horse. SPONTANEITY A spontaneous suggestion, as the name suggests, is when the suggestion is made from an impromptu situation. There are many, many opportunities that may exist, far too many to list, however, an example of a spontaneous suggestive sell, might be a `top up' on a half full wine glass. Good bar persons are particularly adept at this. They assume the sale! Suffice to say, that Spontaneous Suggestive Selling will improve as product knowledge, confidence and team motivation improves.

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques
Servers (also known as waiters and waitresses) are a key part of the restaurant staff. Without good service, few customers would return to any restaurant. A good server does more than just wait on customers. He or she is a salesperson. (Perhaps they should be called sellers, instead.) They should not just be taking orders and delivering food. They should be selling a product- your restaurant menu. Upselling A good server knows how to up-sell. Up-selling is simply getting a customer to spend more than he was originally intending. For example: Customer: ³I¶ll have a martini, strait up.´ Server: ³Do you have a preference on the gin? We carry Bombay and Beefeaters.´ Customer: ³Beefeaters, please.´ The server did not take the drink order and walk away. Instead she offered a more expensive liquor. If she hadn¶t the customer would have bought a martini made with well gin. That¶s fine, but a good server will always try to offer something a little nicer and little bit more expensive. A restaurant may be classified as a food and beverage operation, but that doesn¶t mean its employees shouldn¶t employ salesperson tactics. Chain restaurants, such as McDonalds, employ up-selling all the time. Whenever the person working the drive-through asks if you want to super-size your number seven, or if you want the extra hash brown for thirty cents, that is up-selling in its most basic and unrefined form. Upselling Basics In a restaurant, up-selling should be done with a little more finesse. The key to up-selling is to do it in a way that the customer doesn¶t know he or she is being sold something. For example: Server: ³Would you care to start with an appetizer tonight? Our chef is running our house favorite, a baked lobster dip with crostini.´ Customer: ³That sounds good. What else is in it?´ Server: ³It has a creamy alfredo sauce with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and fresh lobster. I have one whenever I come in for dinner.´ Customer: ³That sounds great! We¶ll have one!´ The server didn¶t wait to hear if the customer wanted an appetizer. Instead she just went right ahead and told them about a popular special the kitchen was running. Lets say the customer doesn¶t like lobster. The server already has his attention and can offer another appetizer instead. For example: Customer: ³No thanks. I¶m allergic to seafood.´ Server: ³The kitchen is also running a delicious tomato-basil bruschetta served with seasoned olive oil and crusty French bread.´ Customer: ³Hmmm, that sounds good. I¶ll take one.´

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques
Okay, so maybe not every restaurant conversation goes this smoothly or politely, but you get the idea? The server is trained to automatically offer an appetizer to start the meal. However, she knows better than to badger the customer. If the customer says they don¶t want an appetizer, she won¶t stand there offering everything on menu, until they pick something. She will move on to the entrée. Upselling the Entrée Let¶s say the customer isn¶t interested in an appetizer or a drink special. He knows exactly what he wants. That doesn¶t mean our server can¶t still employ a few more upselling techniques. For example: Customer: ³I¶ll have the Chicken Marsala.´ Server: ³Would you like to add a soup or a salad to your entrée? Today¶s soup is cream of wild mushroom.´ Customer: ³Hmmm, that sounds good. Iµll take a cup.´ There is another couple of dollars added to the bill and the server¶s tip. Upselling Dessert Finally, the ultimate up-sell. Dessert. The best way to up-sell desserts is to give a mouthwatering description. Good Example: ³Would you care for a slice of our homemade chocolate layer cake. It is layered with a rich dark chocolate ganache and raspberry filling and served with our signature chocolate velvet sauce.´ Bad Example: ³Do you want some dessert.´ Offer dessert before the customer has a chance to think about it. Describe it, make the customer want it. Make it sexy and tempting. Suggest a table split one or two desserts, rather than trying to sell a separate dessert to each guest. And offer to follow up dessert with a hot cup of coffee, perhaps a specialty coffee such as cappuccino or espresso. Or maybe a nice after dinner drink, like port or cordial. A good server can tack on extra ten dollars or more per person, just by up-selling dessert and drinks, not only increasing the restaurant¶s profits, but her tip as well.

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques
30 Seconds to Significant Sales How to upsell without turning off your customer
If you and your employees aren¶t trained on effective ways to upsell, chances are you either offend customers by being too pushy, or leave money on the table that customers would have willingly spent with you. Either option is costly. Upselling refers to when you help a customer decide to buy a little extra or ³up-grade´ slightly the final purchase. A car dealer, for example, might inform customers at the time of ordering about upholstery protection and undercoating. A shoe salesperson might suggest that when you buy a pair of shoes that you also use some weather protectant spray. These are usually small purchases that the buyer doesn¶t have to put a lot of thought into. The bonus is they can be extremely profitable for you as the sales person and for your organization. Why upselling is so profitable Consider this example. A customer buys a car with monthly payments of $395. With that size of investment, there¶s very little resistance to adding $2 to the monthly payments for upholstery protection. For you, however, that additional sale is significant, as over 48 months it adds up to a $98 sale, with a huge profit margin. Some would say that a $98 sale on a $25,000 vehicle is only a minimal increase in the overall sale. Why waste your time? My argument is that if it only takes 30 seconds to make that extra $98 sale, then you¶re making more money for the company than with any other activity you do. If your salary is $20 per hour then doing the math, the 30 seconds you take to upsell costs the company about 17 cents. If it only costs the company 17 cents to make $98, that¶s a huge return on investment. The fact that it¶s attached to a $25,000 sale is completely irrelevant. So, upselling is one of the highest and best uses of your time. Upselling should be easy The best part of upselling is that it¶s practically effortless. Since it¶s done after the customer has decided to go ahead with a major purchase, the hard part of the sales conversation has already been done. You¶ve already established rapport, identified needs, summarized, presented benefits, asked for the order and handled objections. Upselling is just presenting the information in a ³by-the-way´ assumptive manner. The 3 biggest mistakes in upselling 1. No attempt is made to upsell. 2. The salesperson comes across as being pushy 3. The upselling is made in an unconvincing manner so the customer generally refuses. Effective upselling strategies Assumptive is the key. You¶ve got to assume that the customer will naturally want this. Begin the upsell with a brief benefit, then if possible, add something unique about what you¶re selling. To avoid sounding pushy, particularly if the upsell requires some elaboration, ask for the customer¶s permission to describe it.

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques
Here¶s an example of the wrong way to upsell. Imagine dining at a restaurant where you¶ve just finished a big meal. The server asks, ³Would you care for dessert? If you say ³Yes´, you might give the impression of overindulging. So many customers refuse out of politeness. Result - no sale. So the savvy server doesn¶t ask if the customer wants dessert. The professional just assumes that when people go out for a meal they are treating themselves. So of course they¶ll want to treat themselves to dessert. In this case, the server pulls up the dessert tray and says, ³To finish off your meal with a little something sweet,(that¶s the benefit) I brought the dessert tray over for you . Would you like to hear about the most popular ones?´ (asks permission to proceed) When the customer agrees to hear about the desserts the server doesn¶t just list them by name; he describes their benefits. So rather than saying, ³This is chocolate mousse.´ Instead he¶d say something like, ³If you like chocolate you¶ll love this. We¶ve got a chocolate mousse that melts in your mouth and makes you wonder what the ordinary people are doing today.´ Focus on customer needs-not yours. Don¶t try to sell the customer something you wouldn¶t buy if you were in their shoes. It is totally irrelevant whether or not this purchase suits your needs; what is relevant is whether it suits the customer¶s. That perspective empowers you to upsell effectively and with integrity. Hands on demonstration. One of the most effective upselling techniques is getting the customer to use the product in your location. A hairdresser, for example, might put hair gel in the customer¶s hand and show them how to apply it themselves. By showing the client how to get the salon look at home, they create a value-added upsell. Group related products. It¶s a good idea to group similar add-ons and offer them as an upsell at a package price. If someone is getting a haircut and you talk to them about shampoo, it only makes sense to show them a package deal that groups conditioner and shampoo at a package price.

Top 10 Tips for Successful Restaurant Upselling
Upselling is an easy way to improve profits immediately. To increase customer satisfaction and check size, train your servers and cashiers in effective upselling techniques. Follow these guidelines to implement a successful upselling campaign in your restaurant:

1. Predetermine items and times for up selling. Train your servers to always up sell certain menu items at certain times. For example, if your Thai tea is a profitable item and is usually well-received, you could tell servers to mention the Thai tea when they take customers¶ drink orders. Or, if you run a Mexican restaurant, servers could always ask customers if they would like chips and salsa to start off.

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques
2. Do not annoy the customer. The best time for servers to upsell is when the customer asks for their opinion. Then, they can suggest whatever you want them to. Otherwise, they can typically only pitch 1 or 2 upsells without annoying the customer. It is important to be subtle with your upselling techniques. Otherwise, the customer will feel pressured. Getting a few extra dollars from the customer does not do any good if you permanently lose that customer due to pushy upselling techniques. 3. Provide useful suggestions. Upselling should seem like good service rather than a sales pitch. For this reason, it is best that the server know everything about menu offerings so they can practice good consultative selling and make appropriate suggestions. They should also have significant knowledge of wine and food pairings and techniques for reading customer behaviors and signals. That way, servers can offer a wine suggestion to go with a particular meal, or a dessert suggestion when they see that the customers are not quite ready to go. Such upselling techniques will be viewed not as a sales tactic, but as quality service. 4. Make the upsell enticing and convincing. Servers should be knowledgeable and seem excited about the things they are selling. For example, servers should not just ask, ³Would you like a dessert?´ Instead, they should mention the benefits of getting a dessert and make the dessert sound enticing: ³Would you like to end with something sweet? Our special today is dark chocolate cheesecake with a tart raspberry glaze.´ Remember, a lot of people really do want the item you are upselling, but perhaps they are hesitant to overindulge or spend too much. All they need is to be convinced. 5. Mention your takeout. Encourage customers to bring something home with them ³to-go.´ If customers are too full for dessert, you can recommend they take dessert home with them. For example, Perkins Restaurant often encourages customers to take home one of their signature pies. If customers are not interested in dessert, you can still offer them a take-out and delivery menu to take home with them when they leave. This could result in future take-out and delivery sales, if they enjoyed their experience.

6. Upsell to uncertain customers. Customers who look at the menu a long time or seem indecisive about what to order or hesitant in any way are most open to suggestion. Servers should be trained to read body language and attitude, so they can identify the customers who might respond well to suggestions. 7. Make assumptions as well as suggestions. For example, when a customer asks for a cocktail, assume they want the more expensive liquor by asking, ³Do you have a vodka preference? We offer Grey Goose and Smirnoff.´ If the customer says, ³Grey Goose, please,´ then you have just converted a well-drink sale into a highend drink sale, adding several dollars to the check. Another example is the ³nod´ technique. If a customer orders fries, the cashier should look them in the eye and say, ³A large fry?´ while

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques
nodding. Most likely, customers will reply in the affirmative, even if they were originally planning on ordering a medium fry. 8. Routinely train servers. Each server should taste test all menu items and memorize ingredients and preparation for all dishes. Servers should also be aware of good food combinations, like wine and entrée pairings, as well as what is and is not available at any given time and which items are most profitable for the restaurant. 9. Try downselling. Although it is usually ignored, downselling can be the perfect alternative to upselling, especially in times of economic hardship. Downselling involves offering a more expensive option first, and then offering a more economical alternative when the customer refuses. For example, servers could offer a $10 glass of wine, and when the customer refuses, explain to them why the $7 glass of wine is the perfect alternative to complement their meal, and almost as good as the more expensive wine. This will make customers perceive the more economical item as a higher value. 10. Cross-sell more profitable items. Cross-selling your most profitable items is always a good marketing technique. For example, if a customer is considering ordering wine and says, ³I¶m thinking about the x pinot noir,´ but the server knows that a certain cabernet (y) is the same price but has a higher profit margin, he or she could say, ³The x pinot noir is a good wine. Personally, I am also a big fan of y cabernet sauvignon. It¶s really smooth and has an excellent finish.´

Bottom line Every business owner should realistically look at whether or not employees could improve the way they up-sell. For most businesses, a little professional training can make a world of difference.

Final Word on Up-selling Up-selling should be part of our employee training. All servers should know the basics of upselling, from offering top shelf liquor to knowing how to give a mouthwatering description of menu items. Up-selling not only increases restaurant sales, it makes for bigger tips for servers and it shows customers that your staff is knowledgeable as well as friendly.

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