Menu Engineering: Upsell While They're Browsing

This post is part of a series to help you build a winning menu that will engage with your customers, assist your team and most importantly, drive your bottom line.

This is a brief post, but it is vital in getting those extra sales ringing through that till. If you have an engaging introduction set out in a nicely presented menu, people will naturally go on to browse it from beginning to end. 

During that time, they’ll probably want to order a drink. And since they also feel peckish, I'm guessing they wouldn’t mind a little snacky-bite (as Mrs. K calls it) before they err, eat. I now I usually do.

I mean, think about it: The table have mostly arrived, but they’re just waiting for one more guest. So you give them the menus and they start reading the intro (‘Wow, what a great story, I’d love to do that’) and  perusing the recommended dishes (more on that in my next post).

Ooh look, nibbles - at the top of the page.

Congratulations. You just gave them an opportunity to spend some money.

Polenta with Fig
Simply put, browsing the menu is a fantastic opportunity to up-sell. From Olives and Breadsticks to Mini Fish and Chips and Smoked Salmon Canapés. The list is endless. 

Three rules to follow however:

  • Make them expensive (if you dare)*
  • Serve them quick, 
  • Don’t make them filling. 

*Why make them expensive: because people who choose expensive snacky-bites while they browse the menu are making a statement of intent. They intend to enjoy themselves, whatever the price. So serve them up quick and get ready to follow suit on the wine and supplements.

*There is another reason to make them expensive, which I learned the hard way. Some diners will have nibbles INSTEAD of starters! I know, right? It’s a little annoying when it happens, but console yourself in the knowledge that you made good margin on the snacks they did order.

Once those drinks and nibbles are on the table, you're next question is; What steps have you taken to influence their food choices that work for you? 

Check in with my next post to find out more.