For those unfamiliar with the term, upselling is when a waitress (or any other type of salesperson) can talk the customer into purchasing something slightly better and more expensive than they initially asked for.
The company encourages us to do this because, in the end, it means more sales for them, a higher check average for us, and a more satisfied customer.
Yesterday, I worked an afternoon shift. People don't tend to order as much at lunch, so I had to make the most of the tables I did have.
Upselling is not just about offering the wonderful options. It needs to be done with a little finesse. Servers need to be able to read their guest to gauge the best way to approach the suggestions.
There is a certain stigmatism associated with words like loaded, smothered, king size, super size, monster, etc. So if a customer orders a baked potato, don't ask if they want it loaded. Explain the choice in descriptive words that make it harder to resist. Would you like cheese, bacon, and chives melted on the top of your potato?
You can always upsell by getting the customer to purchase a larger size of the item they already ordered. Many of our appetizers come in a regular and large size. When they are ordered, I don't ask if customers want small or large. I offer them 8 piece or 12. The same goes for our salads and several of our steaks. I offer by ounces. 16 ounces is a respectable size for a meal. But you have no idea how many people can't resist the thought of a 24 ounce plate of steak.
When you offer an appetizer or a dessert, be sure to have a specific one in mind.
Did anyone save room for some chocolate cheesecake?
Ohhh That does sound good. Hmmmm... All right...
It takes a bit of practice, but for the most part, I can raise my sales by quite a bit, just by knowing the menu, and discovering how the customers need to be approached. It definitely shows in my tips at the end of the night...