Upselling is the idea of using quality customer service to convince your customers to spend a little more in your establishment. You want to give them a good dining experience, and upselling is anything from selling a pitcher instead of a single beer or recommending a dessert or appetizer. There are several tips to keep in mind for upselling at your restaurant, and here are some vital ones for your business.
Avoid the Obvious Questions
How often do you go into a restaurant and have the server ask if you would care to hear about the specials or whether they can start you off with some drinks? Most people will agree to hear the specials to be polite and are going to want drinks.
Instead of asking these questions, use that opportunity to make recommendations. Instead of asking what customers want to drink, consider starting with “For drinks, I recommend—”. Customers are more likely to pay attention to a genuine recommendation over being told a list of current specials after answering a question.
Allow Customer Customization
Many customers are likely to make purchases at a restaurant when they have control over what they’re getting, which is why “build your own combo” options are popular in many chain restaurants. Allowing customers to put together their own appetizer sampler kits or create custom cocktails is an excellent tip for upselling at your restaurant. Many eateries also incorporate iPad restaurant menu software, which allows diners to place custom orders even when their server is not at the table.
Personalize Your Recommendations
Customers are more likely to take your staff’s suggestions if it comes from a place of sincerity. However, if your servers recommend the same items to the same people every time, it won’t always yield positive results. Encourage your staff to take a moment to find out what type of food they’re in the mood for each day. A guest with a craving for seafood will most likely order something different from a customer who wants pasta, and if your server always recommends a burger, that will not be much help.
No matter what type of restaurant you run, customer service is vital. You want to know how to keep your regular customers happy and turn your newcomers into returning guests. In order to make this happen, consider implementing these six ways to enhance the customer experience at your restaurant.
1. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
You want a memorable atmosphere from the moment your customers enter the restaurant. From the art on the walls to the music coming through the speakers, take the time to create a dining experience that matches your restaurant. If you run a romantic Italian restaurant, use mood lighting and slow Italian music. If you run a more fast-casual establishment, ensure the space feels accessible and trendy.
2. Retain Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff
Taking care of your staff is essential to providing an enjoyable experience. Most of the time, the server is the only employee interaction your guests will have. Create a restaurant environment that makes your employees feel appreciated so they can pass that positive energy onto the guests.
3. Offer Customer Rewards Programs
Consider creating an online rewards program that accumulates points the more your guests come into your restaurant. A free appetizer on every tenth visit or a complimentary dessert on their birthday makes your guests feel appreciated and gives them an incentive to return.
4. Provide Customization Options
Guests at restaurants love to have some control over their dining experience. Many restaurants utilize digital table menus that are ideal for letting customers place orders for signature cocktails or appetizer samplers. Consider offering customizable drink flights to your guests if your bar has multiple beer varieties.
5. Choose Comfortable Seating
A great way to enhance the customer experience at your restaurant is by offering comfortable seating. Many restaurants opt for cost-effective chairs that customers find impersonal and uncomfortable. You want seating that suits families gathering for dinner or co-workers swinging by for a relaxing lunch.
6. Update Your Menu
Having occasional specials to gauge customer interest is always a positive sign, but guests may notice when you make changes to the menu. Consider phasing more unpopular items off the menu and give the impression that your eatery values customer feedback.