The subtle nudge of turning a medium-sized meal into a large for only an extra dollar. Flashing tempting images of mouth-watering desserts just before a purchase is concluded on a self-ordering restaurant POS system.
The scenarios mentioned above are classic examples of upselling – where a business proactively identifies opportunities to generate further sales from a paying customer, usually in the form of selling an additional product or service alongside their original purchase.
A popular technique with restaurants and other eateries, upselling generates valuable income with minimal cost to you or your staff, but only if you do it right.
As such, here are a few things you should know about upselling and how best to implement upselling in your own business, F&B or otherwise.
From a business perspective, upselling is based on the premise that it’s much easier to generate additional income from an already paying customer than entice new customers.
As such, upselling is simply asking a customer to pay a little more for a higher value proposition than the one originally given.
From the consumer perspective, upselling (when done right) is an excellent way of gaining additional value from a meal or service, making their experience more personalised and enjoyable.
How Businesses Should View Upselling
The main goal of upselling is not to extort your customers, but to create additional value for your patrons in a meaningful way. Think of upselling as an enhancement to your customer’s experience, with the extra income you get being a bonus.
Once you start thinking about what a customer might gain from an upsell instead of the profit, you’ll find better and more effective ways of implementing it with your servers, menu, and even your restaurant’s online POS system.
How To Implement Upselling
1. Upsell Relevant Items
If someone walks in ordering a salad, it might not be ideal to ask if they would like the house speciality dessert to go along with it.
Suggesting products and items related to your customer’s original purchase is essential to making the upsell work – recommending something entirely out of the left-field will probably be met with a “no, thank you” instead.
For example, suppose a customer has a food order but hasn’t purchased a drink. In that case, your server or restaurant POS system can gently suggest one, leading to an additional drink sale and adding more value to the customer’s meal.
2.Implement Upselling In Your Menu
Upselling isn’t just staff members making subtle suggestions to patrons or a recommendation from your restaurant’s POS system just before check out; it’s also present in the combo meals and ‘add-ons’ you can offer.
Bundling items together for a ‘combo’ or ‘package deal’ can significantly improve your ability to move products and entice potential customers to make purchases they initially would not.
As for add-ons, they’re a great way to add more value to an item the customer was originally going to buy, such as additional pizza toppings for a dollar or two. Add-ons also give your customers more customizability and control over their meals for a more personalised experience.
3. Set The Right Price
You can be using one of the best POS systems for a café in Australia that considers user preference and upsells precisely what they’re looking for. Still, if the price doesn’t match the value proposition, the upsell will not work.
When upselling a customer, you need to straddle a fine line between profitability and perceived consumer value. Too greedy, and your customer isn’t going to follow through with the purchase. Too forgiving, and you may be upselling at a loss.
As no two establishments are the same, setting the right price for upsell tactics may take a while. You can hasten this process by surveying your customers, doing brief promotions as a trial run, and making it permanent if they work out.
4. Be Subtle And Simple
Subtlety and simplicity are essential in upselling, primarily if your customer interacts with a server instead of a restaurant POS system.
Compelling in-person upselling needs to be subtle and opportunistic – such as recommending certain dishes at the start of a meal, or suggesting a limited-time dessert after you’ve finished clearing the plates.
The key to successful upselling is to simplify the decision-making process for your customers – phrasing suggestions with simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers will go a long way toward making an upsell work.
Upselling: Effective When Done The Right Way
Upselling can be tricky, but effective use can generate additional income at meagre costs, provided you give your staff the appropriate coaching and training in upselling techniques.
Thankfully, with modern restaurant POS systems, upselling can be done digitally, so you need not worry about accidentally alienating customers!