8 Effective Upselling Techniques in Restaurants.

8 Effective Upselling techniques in Restaurants

Upselling in restaurants is a common strategy and it is the most effective way to boost the profits. You obviously don’t want to annoy your customer and lose them with continuous attempts to upsell. So by training the staff in a way to sell more and improve your business. Effective upselling can result in more profit and also bigger trips for them. Upselling is more than sales. It needs knowledge, discretion and perception. Upselling can look more like customer service and less like sales. The main requirement for effective upselling is to have trained servers without annoying the customers. Here are 8 upselling techniques that are used by successful restaurant managers to sell more in the restaurants.

  1. Offer more expensive items

Servers often offer the expensive item than the one which is originally ordered. They use this technique without the customer knowing that the other item is more expensive to push up the bill. The servers should have knowledge of the prices of each item and profit margins.

  1. Offer extras

Many restaurants depend on a simple strategy to sell more by offering extra items. When a customer orders something, the server can offer a variety of extras. It can accompany that specific item that the customer has ordered. So offering extras to the customers is an effective way to increase the cost of the item that the customer wants to purchase. When generally the extras are suggested, the customer is likely to order it. As a result, it increases the amount that the customer is paying for the meal. In this way the servers can help to upsell.

  1. Offer specific items

It is effective if you are specific instead of asking what they would like as an additional food or drink. If the server uses generalities and just asks that what the customer wants dessert or drinks, it is easier for the diners to refuse. However, it will lose the increased profits which you can earn from upselling. For example, the server should ask the customer that if they want to try the special dessert and then show a picture of that item and provide a mouthwatering description. When the server notices that the customer are wavering this is very effective. The delicious details of the item can easily convince them to go with it.

  1. Make suggestions

Another effective way is to suggest options that the customer has not ordered. When a customer wants some suggestion on what to order, the restaurant server should use this opportunity to upsell. When asked for suggestion they might order the most expensive dish and recommend them to try a beverage which will complement the dish. If the customer is hungry then suggesting an appetiser rather than meal will be a good way to upsell. By giving some helpful suggestion, the customer will feel taken care and not like a sales target. Before asking for the bill, just ask them if they want something else. Asking these types of questions is an effective way to implement upselling techniques.


  1. Be enthusiastic

The most effective upselling way a server can use is by showing enthusiasm about the item they are pushing. If the server doesn’t sound interested with what they are suggesting then the customer might get a bad impression and less likely to order it. So a restaurant should have an enthusiastic waitstaff as this is an important component to upsell in your restaurant. The servers should be excited and genuine about the item so the customer will also be excited to try the item. When the server suggests the item, make sure you describe the food that good it is. It will make the customer trust the suggestion.

  1. Know what items to upsell at what times

The servers should be aware of the right time and right item to suggest. When the customer sits it is not at all appropriate to suggest a dessert before the meal. So training your servers on which item upsell best at what time will capture the potential for extra profit. Make sure that servers know what items are there in each area. So that they can suggest some item which will be likely to be accepted by the customers.

  1. Do not annoy the customer

It is important to know the difference between upselling techniques and annoying the customer. You obviously do not want to leave a bad impression. So train the servers to know that how many suggestions exactly they can make. They should also know that at what time they should suggest without annoying the customer. It is an important part of effective upselling. Make sure that your upselling technique in inserted naturally into the conversation so that the customer do not realise that you are upselling it. If it is natural then it will probably not annoy the customer and will make upselling work.

  1. Make assumptions about the order

This technique should be done very carefully. When the server is taking the order, he should make an assumptive statement about what actually they are ordering. If the customer order salad, the server can ask that if they want chicken in the salad or not. Most likely when the customer faces this type of statement, they agree to the upsell. Mostly when servers make assumptive statements about the order they go along with it.