Waiter & Waitress Upselling

Maximize Upselling Opportunities

Waiters and waitresses are a key part of your restaurant staff and should be treated like key sales people other organizations have. Without great service, few customers would return as repeat customers to any restaurant. A great server does more than just wait on customers: He or she is a good salesperson.  They should not just be taking orders and delivering food, they should be up selling a something off your restaurant menu.

Here is what Up-Selling is:

A great server knows how to up-sell. Up-selling is simply getting a customer to spend more than he was originally intending. For example:

Customer: “I’ll have a vodka martini, strait up.”

Server: “Do you have a preference on the vodka? We carry Three Olives, Absolut and Effen.”

Customer: “Absolut, please.”

The wait staff did not take the drink order and walk away. Instead he/she offered more expensive liquor – an upsell. A regular drink is fine, but a good server will always try to offer something a little nicer and little bit more expensive. A restaurant may be thought of as a food and beverage operation, but that doesn’t mean its employees shouldn’t employ salesperson tactics.

Chain restaurants, such as Burger King, employ up-selling all the time. Whenever the person working the drive-through asks if you want to super-size your number two, or if you want the extra-large fries for thirty cents, that is up-selling in its most basic and unrefined form.

The Up-Selling Basics-

In your restaurant, up-selling should be done with a little more finesse. The key to up-selling is to do it in a way that the customer doesn’t know he or she is being up- sold something.

For example:

Server: “Would you care to start with an appetizer tonight? Our chef is running our house favorite, a baked hot pepper with crabmeat.”

Customer: “That sounds good. What else is in it?”

Server: “It has a creamy sauce with roasted red peppers. I have one whenever I come in for dinner.”

Customer: “That sounds great! We’ll split one!”

The server didn’t wait to hear if the customer wanted to order an appetizer. Instead he/she just went right ahead and started to describe a popular special the kitchen was running.

Server training should be an ongoing thing, just like a sales staff in a sales organization. A well trained staff is one who will up-sell and get you higher priced tickets.

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