Thursday, December 15, 2016



Up-selling, also known as suggestive selling is an easy way to increase sales. By developing a non-threatening approach and training staff any restaurant can reach this important goal. 

Ingredients Needed:
  • Employee training.

1.  Train employees. Up-selling should come naturally and flow as part of the server’s personality. Guests want to buy from people who are genuine or excited about a menu item, not those who sound robotic.  For example, your waiters should say, “Oh, ______ goes great with that burger,” as part of the conversation that is already taking place with the guest.

  • Train employees to up-sell in a way that makes guests feel comfortable and non-threatened.
2.  Give more than one suggestive selling technique to employees and have them practice and role-play with each other.  The goal should be to use a different technique each time instead of using the same over and over. Every guest has different needs and wants and those should not be marginalized. Train your employees to detect variances in guest personalities and what the best approach is for each type.


Half bottles of wine placed at the register offer the perfect opportunity to up-sell prior to guests being rung up.

3.  Employees should start the conversation with guests, and ask questions. Such as: “How often do you come in? Have you been here before? to establish a report and determine the guests’ occasion (birthday, work lunch, dinner).

4.  Employees should know the menu. It is critical each employee knows your products and offers information and suggestions to guests.

5.  Sampling is a great way to break the ice.  Have a server take a small sample to the table to break the ice and guests are sure to engage.

6.  Motivate your team. Teach staff about each menu item and offer an incentive program for up-selling. A contest for most desserts or add on sales is a great way to get employees excited about this profitable strategy.

7.  Provide over-the-top guest experience.
If the service is great and friendly, guests will appreciate being up-sold.

Small Cherry italian soda
Specialty drinks, signature cocktails and
coffee beverages make great up-sell items.

  • Have servers give a business card or thank you note to insert into the check presenter.
  • Give the guest something to come back in and enjoy, i.e. a complimentary appetizer card.

  • All employees should firmly believe in your menu items in order to up-sell. If they
    don’t believe that the product tastes great, then the customer will not believe.   

up selling
Dessert displays make it easier for servers to suggest and up-sell.

Want more (LSM Tactics) like this? 

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