[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″]One of the easiest ways to increase your venue’s profitability, without making cutbacks, is by upselling. You know when you go into a fast food restaurant and order a burger, and they say ‘would you like fries with that?’ – that’s the upsell.
Your point of sale system should be able to tell you what your customer’s average spend is, so say the average spend in your café is $20 and you get 100 customers a day… If you increase each sale by $2, that’s an extra $200 a day, $1400 a week, or $72,800 a year – that’s a lot of extra cash from a measly $2 per sale!
So, how can you master the art of upselling to increase your profits?
Step One: Read Your Customer
For upselling to work, you need to know what your customer wants, and not make what you’re doing obvious. For instance, if someone is ordering a vegan dessert, you wouldn’t ask them if they want a cheeseburger to go with it. Firstly, they’re ordering something vegan, which says a lot about their diet, plus, they’re ordering a dessert, so have probably already eaten a main meal, or are not interested in one.
For upselling to work in a food service environment, a one-size-fits-all-model may not be the most appropriate form of attack. To refer back to the vegan dessert option, a good upsell could be a cup of green tea, or a soy latte. Another option could be to suggest a similar, slightly more expensive dessert by saying something along the lines of ‘well if you like this, you would love this… it’s one of my favourites and isn’t too sickly.’
Step Two: Know Your Product
Your staff might have memorised the menu, but do they have an intimate knowledge of the food and drinks they’re serving?
You should always encourage your staff to try the food on the menu, as it will allow them to make better recommendations, and their enthusiasm when talking about one of their favourite dishes will shine through and encourage your customers to try something new too. This could be as simple as ‘the fries are golden and crispy with just the right amount of saltiness’, or more in depth, like ‘that bottle of pinot really complements the juiciness of the steak when it’s cooked medium-rare.’
Step Three: Ask About Extras
Never be shy when it comes to encouraging your customers to get an extra side, or an extra drink. Why do you think drinks come out so much earlier than the food?
When taking a food order, ask your customer if they want to start with an entrée. Likewise, if they’ve finished their main and seem pleased with the meal, offer them a dessert menu.
Also, never underestimate the concept of making something seem like a bargain. For instance, ‘oh you want the entrée-size lasagne, for only $4 extra you can get the main-size, which is almost twice as big. Plus, we have take away containers if you can’t eat it all.’
As you can see, increasing the total cost of every sale is easier than you think. You can even keep track of any increases to your average sale on your point of sale system, so you can watch the extra cash roll in!