What Is Upselling?

Upselling is quite simply the process of having the customer increase the value of their order. This could be through selling more of the same product, or upgrading their original order.

Upselling is a common strategy for restaurants to boost their profits. By training your staff in ways to sell more, you could increase your business turnover by as much 25%. Upselling is more than just sales; it requires perception, knowledge and discretion. At its best, upselling can look less like sales and more like customer service; effective techniques should be subtle enough to avoid annoying the customer or making them feel pestered.

“ Upselling could increase your business turnover
by as much as 25%”

There are several techniques to implement to help convince customers to change their order or to buy extra but be careful as it is likely that your customer has a set budget in mind so balancing the Up-selling offer can be a difficult prospect.

Microtill Top Tips

1. Keep the Up-Sell below 25% of the original order

Studies have shown that there is a larger uptake of an up-sell when changing to the higher priced product incurs a price increase of less than 25%, beyond this the uptake is poor. Therefore when you have an original product of £20, ensure that the up-sell doesn’t exceed £5 more

2. Train Your Staff

Train your staff in the art of upselling. Servers should have knowledge of the profit margins and prices of each item on the menu. Create incentives for your staff, set targets and minimum expectation levels.

3. Make Suggestions

When a customer is deliberating on what to order or asks for recommendations, a restaurant server has the opportunity to upsell without seeming pushy or irritating. They might name one of the more-expensive dishes on the menu when asked for a suggestion or recommend that the customer try a beverage that will complement their dish. By making helpful suggestions, the customer feels taken care of rather than like a sales target.

4. Offer Specific Items

Instead of asking customers if they would like additional food or drinks, it is often more effective to be specific. Restaurants often employ the strategy of avoiding generalities that are easy for the diners to dismiss. Instead of asking if a customer wants dessert, for example, the server will ask if they want to try the chef’s special dessert and provide a mouth-watering description. This is particularly effective when the server can see that the customers are wavering; the delicious details can convince them to go with their desires.

5. Extras

Many restaurants rely on a simple strategy to sell more: offering extra items. Servers will ask a diner if they’d like to start with an appetiser or try a special entree. In some restaurants, the extras are prescribed by management: the chef’s special or a new item they want to push, for example.

6. Demonstrate Enthusiasm

One of the most effective upselling techniques a server can use is to show enthusiasm about the foods they are pushing. When they can give details about the food and a description of their personal experience and preference, it can be more convincing than simply suggesting an expensive item. For this technique to work, the server should be genuine


Prompt your customers to buy more using Microtill’s handheld solution.

The Pad

Upselling with the Microtill Pad handheld solution.

Learn More About The Pad