Mastering the Art of the Restaurant Upsell 

Mastering the Art of the Restaurant Upsell in 2020

By Andrew Murphy, Director of Business Development


Hi, my name is Andrew Murphy. I’m the Director of Business Development here at Flores Financial and today I’m going to talk a little bit about the restaurant upsell. So the current climate in the restaurant environment, people are trying to increase their profits just because it’s getting tough, right? So the upsell’s a really good way to do that. Not only can it do that, but it can then increase the overall customer experience. So, a couple of things you need to know. 

Know your menu pricing

One is, know your menu pricing. So in the back somewhere, your chef is going to have your recipes, and all the ingredients for those recipes with an associated cost. What you need to do is drop in the sales price for that item and find out the margin on your recipe. Once you’ve done that, you’re going to want to use the recipe item that has the best margin because that’s going to increase your profit the most. Just as a general rule of thumb, beer sales, draft beer sales especially, and cocktails usually have some of the highest margins.

Hold a server competition

Step two is you’re going to want to have a plan. So you can’t just go to your servers and say, “Hey guys, I want you to sell more of this.” What you want to do is create a server competition. The server competition is going to be for a set period of time. To incentivize your servers, provide a gift card or some reward for the top performers at the end of the competition period. Not only does this make the upsell more fun it but will help drive the profitability of that item.

Use technology

Step three is to have some support for the server competition. There are tons of ways to do that nowadays with different types of technology. Compeat Radar is a great thing to help you kind of manage sales and labor and then Plate IQ can actually go in and read your invoices down to the line item detail and give you the costs associated with that.


Having your finger on the pulse of those types of things is really important in this day and age of rising minimum wage, and just overall creasing prices. So if you have any questions or you want to learn more, feel free to reach out to us at Flores Financial. Thank you.