How do you increase sales in your restaurant? You can have the most innovative concept and fantastic menu items in your area, but if your restaurant training program is ineffective, you’ll never have the opportunity to get the word out about your operation.

A key element to any restaurant training program is helping your servers understand that selling extra items doesn’t require pushy sales techniques. When suggestions are made in the appropriate way and at the right time, guests perceive them as helpful and sincere, as they should be. Let’s take a look at the three different types of selling:

  • Upselling is enhancing an item already ordered (such as “up-sizing” a value meal or a draft beer, or adding cheese and guacamole to a burger).
  • Suggestive selling is describing an item guests have not ordered yet.
  • Situational selling is assessing the situation and informing guests of items or deals that best enhance that situation (let them make the choice).

Knowing why guests are paying a visit makes it easier to sell. Lose the monotone “Would you like to try our special today?” and insincere “I have to tell you about our soups or we get counted off by our mystery shopper,” or “I’m trying to win a contest — would you like to buy a gift card?”

Suggesting enhancements to the meal is a key step in the cycle of service, but the practice needs to be subject to interpretation. While guests may not like to deal with pushy salespeople, there is no doubt they like to spend money and buy things they like or want. Make it easy for the guests to say yes.

Need to boost appetizer sales in your restaurant? The S.A.L.E.S technique is a great place to focus your restaurant training.