Restaurant Upselling Techniques: Ways to Drive Profits and Customer Experience - By Kate Kennedy

Upselling is about enhancing the customer experience while increasing revenue. With the right approach, you can master this art and drive profits without compromising customer satisfaction. We'll provide you with valuable insights to implement in your restaurant that will lead to happier guests and significant boosts in revenue.

Nov 27, 2023 - 14:54
Restaurant Upselling Techniques: Ways to Drive Profits and Customer Experience - By Kate Kennedy

Looking for proven restaurant upselling techniques to implement? In the competitive restaurant industry, you constantly focus on revenue-generating opportunities. But when developing restaurant upselling strategies, remember that it is not just a sales tactic; it’s an art form. Upselling is about enhancing the customer experience while increasing revenue. With the right approach, you can master this art and drive profits without compromising customer satisfaction. We’ll provide you with valuable insights to implement in your restaurant that will lead to happier guests and significant boosts in revenue.

Definition of Upselling

Upselling encourages guests to purchase more expensive menu or service items, upgrades, or add-ons, increasing the sale’s overall value. It’s a win-win: customers enjoy a better experience with your brand, and your restaurant boosts revenue. Keep in mind that upselling is beyond the table! Here are some revenue streams that you may have that upselling can be leveraged:

  • Table Service
  • Large Group Parties, Private Dining, Catering, and Events
  • Takeout/Pickup/Delivery
  • Meal Kits, Products, and Merchandise Sales
  • Gift Card Sales and Loyalty Programs

How Do You Upsell Without Turning Off Guests?

  • Stay Relevant To Your Guest
  • Focus On Timing
  • Don’t Push It
  • Make It Easy
  • Be Fun and Creative

Best Practices for Upselling At Your Restaurant

1. Train Your Staff for Personalized Recommendations

The key to successful upselling lies in personalization. Train your staff to make recommendations based on customer preferences and behavior. For instance, if a customer orders a steak, suggest a premium side dish or a specific wine pairing that complements their choice. Tripleseat’s customer relationship management (CRM) features can be a game-changer here. By keeping track of customer preferences and past orders, servers can make tailored suggestions that feel personal and thoughtful. Make sure your staff knows that suggestions should first and foremost improve the guest experience.

2. Smart Menu Engineering

Menu engineering is a critical aspect of upselling. By analyzing which items are more profitable and popular, you can design a menu that naturally guides customers toward these choices. Highlighting signature dishes, specials, or high-margin items can subtly influence customer orders, leading to higher ticket sizes. Consider both your physical menu and your digital ones.

3. Create an Experience, Not Just a Meal

Upselling should not feel like a sales pitch; it should be part of a memorable dining experience. Use Tripleseat to manage special events or themed nights, which can attract customers looking for something more than just a meal. Offering exclusive dishes or limited-time offers during these events can encourage customers to indulge more than usual.

4. Implement Dynamic Pricing Strategies

Dynamic pricing, where the prices of items vary based on demand, time of day, or special events, can be an effective upselling tool. Tripleseat can help manage pricing complexity for private events by adjusting prices in real-time and informing staff of changes, ensuring that opportunities for increased revenue are not missed.

5. Encourage Upsells at Every Touchpoint

Upselling opportunities are not limited to the dining table. Tripleseat’s online direct booking system can prompt customers to add special requests or upgrades when they book their event or catering order. Whether it’s a preferred area, a special menu item, or a celebration package, offering these options during booking can increase revenue before the customer walks in.

6. Focus on Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers are more likely to accept upsell offers. Use Tripleseat’s CRM to create a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers. This could include exclusive offers, special event invitations, or points redeemable against upgrades or premium items. A well-designed loyalty program drives upsells and builds a long-term customer base.

7. Utilize Data for Continuous Improvement

Finally, use data and analytics to refine your upselling strategies continuously. Track what works and doesn’t, and use these insights to adjust your approach. Understanding customer behavior and preferences is key to upselling effectively without being pushy. By analyzing the order history of guests, you can tailor your upselling strategies. This targeted approach makes it much easier to know who to upsell to and how to do it.
Leverage Technology to Include Upselling

Upselling in restaurants is not just about increasing order sizes; it’s about enhancing the overall dining experience. By leveraging the power of Tripleseat and other hospitality technology, restaurants can implement smart upselling techniques that feel natural and personalized. From data-driven menu engineering to creating memorable experiences and leveraging every customer touchpoint, the opportunities to drive profits while delighting customers are endless. Remember, successful upselling is a blend of art and science, and with the right tools and strategies, your restaurant can master this blend to achieve remarkable results. Schedule a demo to learn more about how Tripleseat can help your restaurant.