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Top Tips for Upselling in Restaurants

Kadence Edmonds
5 Jul 2023

No matter how well your venue is performing, there are always opportunities to drive additional revenue. One of the most effective ways to achieve this in a restaurant is simply to upsell to your customers.

Of course, upselling involves more than just suggesting. It can require perception and knowledge from your staff members so that your customer doesn’t feel pestered or pressured to order more. Here are seven ways you can help your staff to make more sales. 

Train your Staff

Make sure all your staff know just how important it is to upsell, and are trained in the correct way to do it. It’s best practice to routinely go over any new information or menu changes so your staff know exactly what they should focus on. This is especially important when you have a new cocktail menu or specials you want your staff to push.  

When customers ask for recommendations, a staff member should be able to provide informed answers and be able to list accompaniments such as wine or sides. Knowledgeable staff will come across as more genuine, making it easier to secure the upsell. 

Staff also need to be aware of the right items to suggest - and the right times to do so. With correct training, they will be more likely to capture the potential extra profits that upselling can generate.  

Upsell high-profit menu items 

The objective of upselling is to maximise your profit margins and boost revenue. The best way to achieve this is by suggesting menu items that have the highest profit margins. 

This means identifying the items on your menu that deliver the biggest margin and training your waitstaff to know as well. 

To put it into perspective, let's say a customer is stuck between the choice of two equally priced dessert options. If the severs knows which of the two has a higher profit margin, they can make a more informed recommendation. 

Utilise the power of menu positioning 

If verbal upselling isn’t an option in your venue, then utilising your menu, and it’s persuasive power, is your next bet. When positioned correctly on your menu, images and text can do the work for you. 

The restaurant menu should be designed in such a way that your high-profit items are positioned clearly, and catch the customers’ eye. For example, most customers usually read the menu from the top right corner. It’s a good idea to place your high-selling and high-profit-margin items there.

Descriptions on menu items also play an essential role in upselling straight from your printed menu. They need to be clear, precise and evoke the temptation within the customer to order that particular item.  

Additionally, positioning items that you wish to upsell next to, or below, other items can naturally persuade your customer to order these complimentary items.   

Display menu specials 

Marketing your specials is another great way to upsell your items. When savvy customers aren’t quite sure what to order, your specials board could provide the answer. Not only do specials entice those customers that are looking for a good deal, but if you have drink or sides specials it can provide the much-needed nudge to order more.  

However, getting these special items in front of your guests goes beyond just having one special board displaying the menu at the front of your restaurant. The best way to ensure they are in front of your customers is to have display on every table, like an additional menu print out, as well as having your staff make mention of them when taking orders.  

Use POS prompts to offer extras

When a customer orders a specific menu item, have your staff trained to offer them a variety of extras that could accompany the meal they are requesting. Using this tactic is a great way to increase the overall spend per head in your restaurant and can be done in a way that doesn’t make it overbearing.  

Offering extras could be as simple as turning the meal they want into a combination meal deal, giving the choice to upsize, or suggesting add-ons.

TIP: Use your point of sale system to remind your staff members to offer extras. With the Epos Now POS system, you can set up automatic prompts on your menu items with a multiple-choice pop up that will always remind your staff to offer add-ons. 

Upsell by online ordering 

Restaurants that offer online ordering generally see an increase in their average order size. When long lines are removed, customers can relax and consider upsells, ultimately customising their order with add-on items.

In fact, a study conducted by Live Lighter has found that over a third of Australians (36%) said they upsized their meal when ordering online. This makes online ordering a fantastic opportunity to upsell to customers in a more efficient way.  

Epos Now Order & Pay 

You can create an entirely new way to upsell by using remote ordering tools like Epos Now Order & Pay. Our innovative mobile ordering platform offers seamless online ordering, allowing you to easily run delivery, collection, and at-table ordering services. What’s more, Epos Now Order & Pay has been specially designed to be entirely contactless so can create a safe and hygienic experience for your customers and staff.

To get started, simply create an online profile and import your products - and our platform takes care of the rest. Order & Pay accessible to diners on any device with a web browser. Customers simply scan a QR code or type in a URL for to access your profile and make an order.

Prepare for the future with Epos Now

Your restaurant EPOS system is key to business success, and it can do far more than simply process transactions. With the Epos Now hospitality POS system, you can:

  • Connect to hundreds of leading business tools to help boost your marketing, customer loyalty, and accounting
  • Accept credit, debit, gift cards, and contactless payments
  • Manage your store from anywhere with unrestricted remote access

Contact a consultant to learn more about Epos Now!