Operations: Upselling & Cross-Selling Part 2

By Daniel Thor, Bellissimo Foods

This is Part 2 in the 2 Part Article Series.  To read Part 1 click here: Upselling & Cross-Selling

Last month’s newsletter discussed alternative ways of upselling and cross-selling. This month the focus is on how to build a simple plan to increase sales and profits using upselling and cross-selling.


First decide what items you want to use to increase sales and what method of promotion you believe will be most effective. At the same time, develop clear procedures and positive incentives for your team who must implement your upselling and cross-selling plan. You may not need to discount the menu price.  Your push items can be daily, weekly, monthly or any combination. For example, you might push extra cheese for a month as an upsell, but push pasta as a cross-sell for a week at the same time.

Put together a calendar that lists the push items and share it with your staff. For planning purposes, we recommend either a weekly or monthly calendar done well in advance. This allows your staff to incorporate the plan into their sales pitch and allows you to plan your purchasing accordingly.  Your staff might need additional training and reinforcement for the plan to be successful. Hold a short meeting with your staff at least once per week to discuss the newest or next plan or to reemphasize the current plan. Develop a sample script for your staff to use. Place it near the cash register or ordering stations.  For counter service place a sign in view for the customer. If your featured upsell or cross-sell has a promotional price accompanying it, consider including a simple flyer with customer orders as a reminder for their next order. Tipped employees understand the importance of raising the customer check size. For operations that are phone order or counter service, consider an incentive program for your staff members if they meet some target. For example, you could offer a cash or merchandise bonus if a specific number of mozzarella stick orders are sold in a night. Recognize and acknowledge staff members who get results or make the goals for the group and give everyone a chance at success.


You should expect and insist on performance from your staff. Don’t be afraid to tell them you expect each one to follow the plan. If your plan is that every customer gets asked about extra cheese, then every customer should be asked about extra cheese. If you want to grow dessert sales, then every customer must be asked for a dessert order. You and your managers and shift supervisors should be watching and listening. If the plan isn’t followed take the employee to the side, remind them of the plan, tell them you expect them to ask every customer, and let them know you’ll be reviewing their performance. Remember every successful plan has three main components: planning, execution and measurement. Do all three and insist on performance from your team and you’ll see favorable results. Not only will your sales and profits increase, but upselling and cross-selling will increase customer satisfaction.


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