Restaurant Bar PROFITS: How good is your upsell? ROI

It’s one thing to have ambience.  It’s another to have a great menu, great chef, great server… all of these undoubtedly affect your bottom line in the restaurant and bar industry.  But, perhaps the most under-rated thing that can affect your profit is the upsell.  Now we all remember to give each shift the “pep talk” and encourage them to upsell certain things on the menu.  This is great for your customers who are oral learners.  The verbal upsell will definitely get them motivated to purchase another thing with their meal.  But, what about those visual and those kinesthetic learners?

How learning styles affect the upsell strategy
Let’s take a moment and talk about the different learning styles and how this affects our customer base and should be an important part of our Upsell strategy.  Most of us already do the obvious, we encourage our servers to upsell with every order.  Would you like a cocktail?  Shall we add grilled mushrooms to that steak?  Time for an espresso?  But are you, as the restauranteur doing everything you can to support that upsell?  The verbal prompt your server is giving is great, but have you added that additional ummmph to the sale?

Your auditory learners will get the most of the oral upsell when the server breezes upsells when presenting the menu or when they are accepting orders.

Your visual learner will respond to the desert cart, the table toppers with visual pictures of add-ons, deserts, appetizers.  They will look at their neighbor’s food presentation and flaming dishes that travel from table to table.  These clients will be affected by nearby tableside service.  Brightly colored and visually attractive dishes and drinks will appeal to their sense of sight.

The kinesthetic learner will respond to the sample dishes you have.  They will also relate to tangible things that they can touch or taste.  Give them a menu insert that they can finger, place a sample platter of appetizers on your bar.

Let’s talk about the ways you can support your servers.  Are you giving them the words/ the script to upsell?  Ask your more successful servers who upsell to share their secrets during a pre-shift meeting.  Be sure each table has a table topper with visual upsell of items.  Be sure menus are visual and that there are fresh visual inserts on the table.  Set up a desert cart, if your venue supports it offer tableside service, add flaming cocktails, send your cocktail waitress around with complimentary dessert items.  Do you have neon in your bar or other visuals in your entry way?  Do you have drink coasters that upsell?

So, as a restauranteur, don’t forget the other things that are so important to support your staff in upselling.

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