Missed opportunities and the dying art of upselling

(02 /04 /2014)

How many cafes now days do you see the sign that says – no table service, please order and pay at the counter?  There are pros and cons to this approach!  Pros – less service staff required, less chance of a table ‘doing a runner’, Cons – missed opportunities, no chance to upsell or add on, no customer connection = no loyalty.

If you have ordered and paid at the counter, when the food arrives there is a disconnect between the wait staff and the customers.  They have no idea who ordered what and there is no personal connection.  For example: I was recently in a café for a lunch meeting, we ordered and paid at the counter and then proceeded to take up a table for 3 hours holding our meeting.  Not once were we approached for a coffee, more food or additional drinks.  Are we losing the art of adding on or suggestive selling?

As a service industry we should never miss an opportunity to connect with and create relationships with our customers, whether that’s eye contact, remember who ordered what or just checking in and seeing how their meal is going.  It is also crucial from a business point of view that we up sell, add on, suggestive sell – whatever you would like to call it.  If your establishment does prefer the ‘order and pay at the counter’ type arrangement then consider reintroducing ‘floats’ for your wait staff.  You remember, in the good old days when you could order and pay for your drinks without getting up from the table!

Some of us are truly a lazy bunch, but suggestive sell me a dessert, a coffee or perhaps another glass of wine and let me pay for it without moving, then I’m there! Each and every person that walks in your door needs to make you money.  Think back to your ‘bums on seats ratio’ and decide how you can increase each tables’ sales yield.

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