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Tricks and tips – upselling in bars and pubs

Tricks and tips – upselling in bars and pubs

The art of the upsell can prove to be the lifeblood of your hospitality business as restaurants and hotels have long understood. However, operators of bars and pubs that aren't also taking the opportunity to upsell when possible are certainly missing a trick or two.

One of the easiest pub or bar upsells to attempt is that of offering nibbles along with a tipple. Traditional snacks have enjoyed something of a makeover in recent years with crisps, nuts and even popcorn being turned into a premium bar snack, designed to tempt the more discerning guest. Earlier this year, celebrity pub chef Tom Kerridge even launched a new range of pork scratchings, including flavours such as British Sea Salt and Pickled Green Chilli.

Another crucial element that could be affecting your upselling capabilities is the design of your bar. The Morning Advertiser advises arranging spirits in pyramids with the most expensive (choice) on the top shelf, mid-price spirits (mid-sell) on the middle shelf, and the cheapest (pouring) on the bottom shelf at bar level. This arrangement allows customers to understand the value of the spirits on offer whilst simultaneously speeding up service as bar staff will find the most commonly ordered spirits within easy reach.

Additionally, any marketing materials such as chalkboards, cocktail menus and various other displays must always be kept up-to-date, clean and in a visible position for customers. As spirits represent a significant profit opportunity, consider offering cocktails – even if you stick to a few, simple-to-mix options. Customers don't always know what they are going to order to drink when they approach a bar, so displaying choice options clearly could prove powerful.

It is also important to ensure that staff are well-trained regarding the drinks on offer. If they can describe the taste and make recommendations, they will be in a better position to upsell effectively. Encouraging your customers to choose the premium products you offer must be about adding value to their experience. By focusing on this, a boost to revenue will follow.

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