© 2017 by Bawoni Consult.

Make More Money: Upselling in Your Restaurant


upsell - /ˈʌpsɛl/

To persuade a customer to buy something additional or more expensive

Let's face it - We want customers to spend more money anytime they come into our businesses. The key to being aable to Upsell is to KNOWLEDGE! Know your menu, know your services, know your product. But don't just know it, understand it and be able to to break it down if necessary.

A good waiter knows how to serve a client. A GREAT waiter knows how to upsell to a customer. With the right training and knowledge an upselling can increase your business revenue by by 10-30%.

Here's an easy example of Upselling:

Waiter: Hello, would you like to order a drink?

Customer: I'll have a gin and tonic.

Waiter: Do you have a preference on gin? We carry Tanqueray, Beefeaters and Bombay.

Customer: Bombay please.


This waiter has a clear understanding of the menu and knowledge of what is available for the customer. The waiter has also provided three options at different price points for the customer to select based on their preference. Offering the customer a selection makes the customer feel special because attention is given to their preference. Knowing which menu items have HIGH PROFIT margins increases your chances of getting your customer to spend more.


With knowledge of the menu, waiters are able to offer suggestions on specific menu items based on what they customer may be asking for or any information the customer has given to the waiter. Be specific about what you are suggesting to the customer and why you are suggesting that. For example, suggesting the daily special because it is made with fresh, locally sourced produce that is in season. By focusing on the experience and not the sale, the customer will not realize you are trying to sell something to him/her.


Knowing when to walk away is extremely important. Yes, it's great to be able to upsell to a customer but one must not be so focused on selling that the customer experience is compromised. Paying attention to customer body language or lack of interest is indication enough that the customer would like to be left alone. Give the customer a few minutes to get through their drink or appetizer and try again during dessert if they look a bit more receptive or relaxed.

Remember, the customer experience should never be compromised. A positive customer experience turns a new customer into a return customer. We hope these three tips help you increase revenue and improve the quality of service that you provide at your establishment.

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