How to Increase the Ticket Successfully
To set the stage for upselling, the service staff needs to build rapport with their guests, not be robots executing some rote script. For example, when the server approaches the table and just starts selling, it comes across as pushy, pushy, pushy! “Hi, my name is David and I will be your server tonight. Can I start you off with an order of our world famous artichoke dip or some hot soft pretzels with our homemade horseradish mustard?”
How about approaching the table and saying, “Welcome to XYZ Restaurant! How is everyone today?” or “Welcome back! It’s so great to see you again.” Build rapport first.
Sometimes the best way to connect with your table is by commenting on something tangible you see at the table. It could be something like a shopping bag, and you would comment, “Oh, I love that store!” Maybe they are wearing a team jersey and you can say, “Did you see last night’s game? Wasn’t that last inning intense?” Whatever you say, it MUST be genuine … don’t B.S. the guest.
And then after making your first table touch and building some rapport, as you walk away from the table, turn back and say, “By the way, my name is David and it will be my pleasure to ensure you have a great dining experience with us tonight.”
Rapport building Do’s for the host
|Use their name whenever possible.Keep them updated on wait times so they know they have not been forgotten.Ask if they have dined here before.If they haven’t, inform them of the location of the restroom, stairs and other points of interest.Tell them about some drink orders or your favorite appetizer.Answer the phone with a smile and never let it pass two rings.Make all thank-yous sincere and open the door for departing guests.|
How to greet a table to build rapport
|Say This||Not This|
|“Welcome to XYZ Café! How is everyone tonight?”“I understand it is your first time here, may I make a few suggestions?”“Presents! What are we celebrating?”“Welcome back! It is so great to see you again.”“What is the special occasion for the group getting together? Would you like separate checks?”||“Have you decided yet?”“Ready to order?”“Hey guys, what’s up?”“Hi, I’m Ashley and I will be your server tonight!”|
Words to use when upselling
When upselling you want to use words that evoke emotion. For example, “You should try our homemade country pot pie. It has a buttery, flaky crust, farm fresh vegetables and juicy chunks of chicken breast.” Or you might say, “If you are only going to try one dessert in your lifetime, you need to try a piece of our spiced gingerbread cake served warm. It tastes just like Christmas, and I have found it’s even more wonderful when you add a scoop of our homemade French vanilla ice cream!”
The goal is to paint a picture in your guests’ minds, and if they see it, they want it. This is a skill that needs to be practiced on a daily basis. It’s best when you add it to your daily pre-shift meetings as a consistent training tool and role-play exercise.