If you want your restaurant to recover faster after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, it’s important to employ effective strategies to help increase profits as much as possible. Upselling is an effective way of achieving more sales, but it is also an art when done badly: you could potentially lose a customer by annoying them with new deals.

It’s important to use upselling when it’s appropriate to your customer and you feel it’s something they are likely going to want or be interested in.

Here are some tips on how to introduce upselling effectively in your restaurant – and what to upsell:

Start Small

Everyone has had a challenging time financially and, when settling out of lockdown, your customers may not want to be sold extras to – certainly not in large amounts. To start with, choose smaller upsells and see how that goes with customers.
For example, offer customers a larger portion, sauce sachets or a side plate to go with their meal – these items can be offered, and the customer won’t feel like they’ve had to pay a whole lot extra.

Know which items have high-profit margins

As well as starting small, it can be helpful to know which items cost less to supply but are sold for a little bit more to the customers. In other words, which items have the largest profit margin. Talk with your team and show them which items on the menu have the biggest profit margins, or talk about running a promotion on your highest profit margin items.

Upsell quality ingredients or products

Do you have regular customers you know order the same dish or have their favourite meal? As you get to know customers and their tastes, consider upselling condiments they can purchase in-house. Does your restaurant have a special sauce? You could offer limited editions in bottles.

Train your staff

You have to train your servers specifically on how to upsell something with annoying a customer. The training should go on regularly, and your servers should know what is on the menu, what specials you are offering and have tried the food, so they know what they are selling.

Recommend with Enthusiasm

Isn’t it great when the waiting staff personally recommend a dish to you? Even better when it’s going at a special price. Like testimonials for your business, a personal recommendation said sincerely and with enthusiasm can persuade your customers to go for a meal that perhaps costs a little extra or comes with extra special ingredients.

Offer A Takeaway Option

Did you ever want dessert, but too full to eat it right then? For your customer who feel like that, offer them a takeaway option for dessert instead. This way, they get to enjoy their dessert when they want it and you still get the upsell. Win-win.

Suggest Appetisers or Alternative Courses

Most customers only order main courses. But when they’re hungry, they’re likely to go for the appetiser you recommend. If the customer only orders water or a soft drink, you can suggest getting a drink from the bar, too. Train your servers to ask those extra questions when appropriate.

Offer Package Deals

Consider offering a package deal for a little bit extra. This might be pairing a meal with a dessert, a starter with a main or a package of mains for a small group of people. Where, usually, customers may only have ordered a main, if they see they can get a dessert for a bit extra, they may go for it.

Take Email Addresses and Have An Opt-In

There should be a way for customers to give their contact details to hear about special offers you may want to introduce. On your website, through your social media and through your premises, invite customers to sign up to your mailing list to hear about special offers – this is one of the ideal ways to get to know them and what to upsell in the future.

TastyIgniter’s free online ordering software can be customised to invite new customers to sign up to your mailing list, helping you build a customer database.

It can also integrate most existing databases with our software for a seamless service.

Reach More Customers

Overall, upsell to customers when it seems appropriate and if you know them well, what will work with what they want and be in line with their budget.

Don’t over upsell. Arrange some training with your staff to help them understand which items can be ‘upsellers’ and when to do it. Make everyone aware so that you are all in working in cohesion towards the same goal.

For more information about TastyIgniter and the benefits for your business, find us here or get in a touch to arrange a free call.