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Strategies for Teaching Fast-Food Staff the Art of Upselling Encouraging fast-food customers to incorporate pricier or additional items into their orders can significantly impact restaurant operators’ profits. Coaching employees to achieve these upselling goals in a way that enhances customer engagement without causing offense demands a certain level of finesse. Implementing upselling is critical in […]

April 16, 2024
Boost Your Franchise Sales

Strategies for Teaching Fast-Food Staff the Art of Upselling

Encouraging fast-food customers to incorporate pricier or additional items into their orders can significantly impact restaurant operators’ profits. Coaching employees to achieve these upselling goals in a way that enhances customer engagement without causing offense demands a certain level of finesse.

Implementing upselling is critical in today’s hyper-competitive fast-food market. Here are some techniques to prepare your employees to upsell with skill.


System Prompts.

Build upselling prompts into your point-of-sale system and teach employees to heed them as they take orders. These systems can tap data collected from past customers’ decisions to increase the likelihood of upselling success. Consider running a competition or posting a leaderboard to identify employees who are the most successful upsellers. Offer a meaningful reward, such as a cash bonus for the winner. And don’t forget to say thank you to top performers.


Free Samples.

Providing customers with a taste of a dish or special topping can be enough to close the deal. Whetting a customer’s appetite can entice them to purchase the entire menu item. Another benefit is that handing out small samples is low in cost. Allow your employees to sample the menu items too, so they can recommend them with confidence.



The 25% Rule.

Avoid pitching menu items that are more than 25% more expensive than the one the customer initially ordered. If a customer is considering a chicken sandwich for $8, for example, don’t suggest a $15 basket of ribs. Instead, try recommending a side dish or additional topping for a few dollars more. Also, suggesting that customers add a packaged take-out item to their order, such as cookies or a dessert, can be an effective upselling technique.


Build Trust.

Above all, show your staff how to use these techniques in a polite and helpful way, with the goal of increasing the customer’s engagement and trust in your brand. Employees must listen well, heed diners’ verbal and nonverbal cues, and learn to de-escalate upselling efforts if the diner shows no interest. Upselling should feel more like great service than a hard sell. Also, retrain your employees frequently to ensure top performance.

West Coast Franchise Law

If you have any questions about franchising, please contact the experienced franchise and business law attorneys at West Coast Franchise Law today at (206) 903-0401 to discuss your situation. Nate Riordan is a 2023 Franchise and Bankruptcy Super Lawyer with over 20 years expertise helping clients achieve their business goals.