Get your staff to upsell effectively

Upselling is crucial to the success of your outlet. Perfecting the art of the upsell so it is done effectively can be tricky, but we’ve pulled together some key pieces of advice to help you and your staff master the task. 

Training your staff

It’s common that within your team you will have varying experience levels and therefore different levels of ability when it comes to upselling. Those with more knowledge on the subject can help you and your team in sharing their previous experiences.

Make sure your staff are well versed on any specials or promotions such as a cocktail of the month or deal of the day so they can effectively make your customers aware of them. To help target different areas of the pub why not try a different upsell focus for staff each month? During the summer months it could be a limited edition cocktail jug for example.

Try holding engaging and hands-on training sessions to assist your staff in developing the art of upselling. How about role play? It can be a fun way to practice scenarios together, encourage your staff to take turns to test each other out on what’s on offer for that month.

Alongside practical training why not try using online learning tools? For example, our Max It Masters website is packed full of inspiring content, from industry expertise to cocktail inspiration to help you and your team make the venue the best it can possibly be. It’s a great source for you to get quick yet handy information.

Try encouraging recommendations from your staff to customers of dishes and drinks, it’s one of the best ways of encouraging upsell. We know this isn’t always possible, particularly during your busy or low staffed periods. Posters, menus and boards around your venue are a great secondary way of doing this; experiment with placing these outside as well as in, to attract customers into your outlet.   

Promote healthy competition

Staff incentives are a great motivator; why not try rewarding your team each month with a cash bonus, free meal and drinks or experience day for two to recognise a great job. If your team are seeing rewards in return for excellent performance they know it is appreciated and that it won’t go unmissed, they will in turn make that extra effort to go above and beyond.    

The customer is always right. A satisfaction survey is a brilliant way of getting feedback on all aspects of your pub from food and drinks to service. Are you worried that your customers will be reluctant to fill it out? Offer automatic entry into a prize draw as part of the process which gives customers the chance to win a free dinner and drinks package and in turn encourages them to provide you with their honest thoughts. If your staff know that customers will be regularly feeding back they’ll go the extra mile to aim for a personal mention.

With consumers making different choices...

As the health trend continues, consumers are often opting for soft drinks as opposed to alcoholic beverages, low and no sugar options are also becoming increasingly popular because of this. Try displaying your full range of soft drinks behind the bar, that way your customers are able to see the wide variety they have to choose from including the healthier alternatives.

Premiumisation is key. There are many ways in which to enhance the experience of a soft drink serve. Be innovative with your mocktail menu and make sure it sounds and looks as impressive as the alcoholic versions. Mocktails are a perfect way of offering a premium experience to those who don’t want to consume alcohol.

It is not just mocktails that can be premiumised, experiment with soft drinks to encourage customers to trade up from tap water, even something simple like a soda water and lime can be enhanced to provide a greater experience. How about training your team to use unique glassware, varying shapes and sizes of ice and garnishes which pair well with the drink to improve any soft drink experience. These additions will allow a more premium price tag because of the improved experience.   

The menu is where it's at

The menu is one of the first impressions your customers will have of your food or drinks offering, so it needs to be impressive. Customers don’t want to feel pressured into making a quick decision at the bar; a menu allows them to take their time when making a food or drink choice. Do you have a wide range of mocktails, cocktails, wines or craft beers that appeal to different tastes? Then an impactful menu will serve you well.

Train your staff regularly, new or old, on the importance of becoming familiar with the menu, particularly as it changes between seasons. Inject some personality to your offering with each employee having a drink or meal of choice that they would confidently recommend to a customer if asked. 

We have an incredibly visual and helpful guide all around menu inspiration, it includes an easy to follow checklist, a sample menu and much more to make sure your menu is spot on.

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