AI + Machine Learning

How to Upsell Strategically in Your Restaurant

Learn how to drive revenue and increase profits at your restaurant with strategic upselling.
Amanda Hamel

Restaurants are a gateway to a successful business. If you have a great product, but no way to get the word out, your business will never scale. That's why it's so important to understand how upselling works in your restaurant. In this article, we'll discuss how to upsell strategically so that you can experience the full benefits of your restaurant.

What is Upselling?

Upselling is the process of selling more products or services to customers who have already purchased or are in the process of purchasing. Upselling is a marketing technique that can be used to increase the average check size. A customer purchases an item, and then you offer them something more expensive than what they initially ordered or something else that would pair nicely. In other words, upselling means offering a higher-priced item or more items to increase the average check size in your restaurant.

When upselling in a restaurant it’s not just about increasing check sizes; it's also about providing value. By offering something that would work well with the guests chosen meal, or something with more benefits than what was originally selected, you create additional value for them. 

Create an Upselling Strategy

Upselling is a way of increasing revenue and profits in your restaurant, but it can be challenging to implement effectively.

Here are some tips on how you can create an effective upselling strategy:

  • Identify the types of food that customers will likely buy more often than others—whether they're appetizers or desserts, for example—and make sure those are featured prominently on the menu board. Also consider offering different versions of each item at different prices depending on whether there’s time pressure (i.e., busy times), as well as what type of location you're working with (a walk-in window versus table service).
  • If possible, try offering complementary items such as side dishes or drinks that come with orders for certain specials; this will encourage people who don't want anything else yet still want something off-menu to order at least one thing from their favorite item list instead! Another option might be adding extra toppings onto certain dishes so when guests request their favorites again another day downtown they'll realize how delicious these new additions were too.

Empower Your Staff

The second step is to train your staff. Make sure they know the menu and meals, as well as what each one costs. They should also be trained on how to upsell in a way that doesn't make customers feel bad about their decision. If you're going for an upsell, make sure that it's something that will improve or enhance the customer experience instead of just increasing profit margins.

If you've got an objection from a customer who doesn't want something added to their order (or if there's another item they'd rather have), try asking them why they don't want this option before moving forward with another offer—this may help you find out whether there are any good reasons behind their decision not too!

Upsell Automatically

You can use technology to upsell to your restaurant guests automatically and with ease. The most commonly used method of upselling is done by servers. However, upselling does not only need to happen when a server is taking someone's order. It can be done automatically when guests place an order online or at a kiosk. With the right software, an upsell recommendation engine will apply machine learning to autonomously suggest upsells and cross-sells as guests checkout via the restaurant app or branded web ordering. That means you won’t have to rely on your server's sales pitch to secure an extra bit of revenue. 

With the automated upselling feature your online ordering system will analyze what customers typically purchase together at each location to account for any regional-based preferences. The algorithms refresh every two weeks, so if guests are more likely to purchase cold drinks in the summer and warm drinks in the winter, the upsell engine will adjust the recommended items accordingly. Along with data-driven algorithms, you’ll be able to create your own custom rules to recommend new menu items and specials! 

Track, Analyze, and Refine

Once you have a system for upsells, the next step is to track them. The best way to do this is with data and surveys. If you have an open-ended question like, "how many times did customers buy something from our menu?" then you can use that information as a baseline for your upsell strategies.

Once you've got that data in hand, analyze it and refine what worked well and didn't work as well—and make adjustments accordingly! Upselling is a key component of marketing for restaurants. Upselling can be automated with the right software, but it's also an important part of your business strategy that will help you increase revenue and profitability in your restaurant.

With the right approach, upselling can be a powerful tool for your restaurant. The key is to create a strategy that makes sense for your business, then train your staff on how to execute it well. If you follow these steps and keep track of their performance, you'll reap the benefits of higher sales and better customer satisfaction.

When creating an upselling strategy for your restaurant, remember that there are many different ways to go about it. Trial and error is just a part of the process. We hope this helped you begin your journey to increase profits with strategic upselling!