Upselling tips for restaurants

The restaurant industry in South Africa has taken a number of knocks over the last few years and restaurants need to maximize their profits in order to be successful. One way to do so is encourage a culture of upselling. There are a few ways you can upsell and cross-sell to customers in order to boost average order sizes and increase your revenue.

Make Sure Staff Know your Menu and Specials

You, firstly, have to ensure that your staff are well-versed in all aspects of your menu and about your specials. They must be able to make suggestions and recommendations while they are table-side with the customer. Depending on the style and aesthetics of your restaurant, your staff will need to understand what your customers will be looking for. For example, if you are a fine-dining restaurant, your staff will need to be aware of which wines go well with the steak special. Staff will also need to be aware of popular items, which they can recommend to guests.

Train Staff to Pick up on Guest Behaviours

All of your customers will have different needs and desires and your staff need to attune to these. For example, a couple on a romantic date may want a special bottle of wine or take-away dessert, while a family of four may want a kiddie menu and extra ice-cream. Your staff needs to be able to sincerely offer customers options that sound appealing to them. Train your staff to pick on cues and give customers items they did not think they needed. Make sure to teach staff not to be pushy or to annoy customers while making suggestions.

Make suggestions and recommendations in your menu

If your staff are struggling to upsell, consider redesigning your menu to offer pairings and side dishes that go well with your main meals. Add photographs of side dishes or desserts to make them attractive to your customers. Your specials should sound appealing, and you should offer items at a smaller rate increment. For example, instead of telling customers “For R300 you can get the chef’s special with dessert” say “for only R50 more you can get dessert added to your choice.” By doing this you add value to your special, while making it seem worthwhile to the customer.

Make use of your restaurant POS System

Restaurant technology can help you upsell. Your restaurant’s point of sale system can assist your staff in upselling correctly. By having your menu on hand with a mobile POS, your staff can give customers accurate recommendations and detailed additional options for their meals. You can also adjust your POS to display meal modifiers, such as wine pairings etc.

Restaurant POS systems can also help you keep track of regular customer’s data, such as previous orders. With this data you can offer customers personalised experiences with detailed extras and specials that they are likely to be drawn to.

Upselling can be a great way for restaurants to make extra revenue and enhance the customer experience. In order to incentivise upselling at your restaurant, enhance your menu, train your staff and perhaps upgrade your Point of Sale Solution.

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