Upsell Menu Items to Restaurant Customers Effectively

While upselling might be a great strategy to boost profits, it can sometimes take an ugly turn by appearing salesy and annoying your customer. Upselling should then look more like a customer service and less like sales.

A key requirement for effective and efficient upselling is to train your staff in a way that they don’t appear pushy or pester your customer. To help you upsell better here are a few effective upselling techniques which will keep your restaurant business in the forefront by boosting sales and revenue.


1. Well engineered menu

There’s a reason why McDonald’s pair fries and coke with every image of its burger or Dominos pair cheesy dip with its garlic bread. An arrangement of images and text on your menu holds immense power to influence your customer. So start by pairing text in your menu with the images of your food.

Menu engineering by using graphics for restaurant

A well engineered visual menu can work as a great upselling technique by luring your customer not just visually but by also offering suggestions about what goes best with a specific dish.

2. Online ordering platform

During the peak hours of your restaurant, your customers often end up making decisions in a hurry, failing to make an informed selection.
Having a sound online food ordering system improves the restaurant’s sales by providing the customer with convenience and time to decide what they wish to order as they end up ordering additional food items which they otherwise wouldn’t order. It allows you to upsell by letting you promote the items in your menu by listing your bestsellers, what other customers orders and frequently ordered dishes.

Check Out LimeTray’s Image Intensive Online Ordering Platform : Ace

3. Encourage add-ons and extras

Add-ons and extras can extensively contribute to your sales. Encouraging your customer to order ice-cream with the Nutella Waffles he/she just ordered or shakes with a bowl of pasta is one of the upselling techniques you can follow.

Doing so would help you upsell better without appearing ‘pushy’ or annoying. Moreover, it will position you as a restaurant which cares about its customer’s tastes and preferences.

Upselling add on restaurant items

For example, don’t hesitate while telling your customer about how your new cheesy tortilla chips go well with salsa dips.

4. Know your menu inside-out

There will be times when your customers will seek your suggestions on what goes best with a particular dish. Knowing your menu to make worthy suggestions then, does not only become important but also necessary.

Train your staff in a way that they are well versed with the restaurant’s menu and how dishes listed in it are prepared. They should be able to give suggestions about what sells the most or what they like and even their own personal experiences.

Know your menu inside out for restaurant management

5. Reward your customer for the added purchase

Consider running offers like

25% off on a Min bill of Rs. 599

Extending such offers to your customers encourages them to order more and help you upsell better. You can even start with like “Buy One Get One” free for items which don’t sell well or are less preferred by the customers.

Find out how you can Automate and Schedule SMS & Email Campaign for your Customers  : Restaurant CRM 

6. Understand your customer

Try to understand and know the needs and preferences of your repeat customers so that the next time they visit you, you can tell them about the new addition to your F&B menu. Respecting his preferences by suggesting food and drinks around his tastes can then work as a good upselling skill. It will also let your customer know that you remember him which would further reflect on your service.


Upselling is an excellent strategy for boosting your restaurant’s sales and revenue but make sure that your approach doesn’t disappoint your customer. Remember, that your customer’s experience will help you stay ahead in the battleground.

Riya Jain

Riya Jain

Riya is a Literature graduate working as a content strategist. You can find her reading The Little Prince and listening to the Passenger and Seafret in her free time.