Effective upselling in hospitality


Effective upselling in hospitality

Burger and chips

Before joining HGEM, many of our employees had careers in the hospitality industry – from quick service to fine dining to hotels - experiencing first-hand our clients’ everyday challenges. To drive sales targets and boost revenue, upselling is key, but we know that it can be one of the biggest challenges for hospitality teams. We asked the HGEM team to share some of their own experiences of upselling effectively from their time spent working in hospitality.

Daniel Tebbutt, Client Support Manager, found regular product training useful when working as a General Manager at a well-known hotel chain. ‘We used to have regular menu tasting sessions, including when we refreshed the wine list, as well as test out new specials before they went live to the public. It’s difficult to fake enthusiasm about something you don’t really know anything about. If staff know what they are talking about and are genuinely enthusiastic, the product will practically sell itself.’

Sus Davy, Client Support Coordinator, shared her experience of working in the kitchen of a local café. ‘Every day we went through the dishes with the front of house team. It often meant they tried the food, so really knew the flavours inside out.’

Business Development Coordinator, Mary Carter, experienced the challenge of trying to upsell with a lack of menu knowledge whilst working in the front-of-house team at a chain restaurant. ‘The variety of dishes we could try was dictated by how many hours we worked, so being part-time, I hardly got to try anything on the menu! When guests asked for recommendations I was rubbish!’

James Whitehouse, Client Support Manager, used to run a ‘perfect meal’ incentive with his team at a popular casual dining chain. ‘If any of my team upsold perfectly at every course they’d get a bottle of bubbly or a gift voucher – which is harder than it sounds’.

Matthew Smith, Business Development Manager, shared his insight from working as a General Manager at several well-known restaurants. ‘When it comes to encouraging your front of house team to buy-in to sales targets, there’s no better way to do it than by gamifying selling. Before joining HGEM, I worked as a General Manager at a few large restaurants, including Browns, Ha Ha Bar & Grill and Jamie’s Italian. I found that introducing an element of fun made everybody’s shift more enjoyable and led to a big bump in sales.‘

For more advice on making the most of upselling opportunities, read how tailoring your upselling approach to each guest makes for a more personal guest experience. Additionally, discover how tech can help you upsell in hotels and how getting to know your guests can be crucial for making the most of upselling.

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