Waiter serving wine

4 Ways Your Restaurant Can Increase Upsells Today

Upselling can increase your profit margin significantly with little to no additional effort. And with mPOS technology, it’s easier than ever to incentivize upsells.

Here are a few quick and easy ways to increase your upsells:


Take the guesswork out of upselling by programming your mPOS system to suggest relevant upsells to your waitstaff. The suggestions will pop up in their handheld devices to be available when they interact with the customer. What’s more, since mPOS automatically keeps tabs on your inventory, your staff can be confident the items they upsell are still in stock. This includes specialty items, which often come with a wider profit margin. You can also use your mPOS to immediately suggest staff upsell products with a dwindling shelf life. Have a great wine that’s not selling? Notify your staff immediately with details about just how well that Pinot pairs with your best-selling entrees.


Encourage your staff to upsell by launching a friendly competition. Your mPOS makes it easy to keep track of who sells what. Use this instant data to see who sells the most of a particular item during a particular shift, or expand the contest to span a week or a month. You might even run multiple contests—one for a high-dollar item, one for a high-margin item, and so on. At the end of the given period, reward the winner with a valuable prize in a staff meeting where you can allow the winner to share best practices. And since your mPOS makes it easy to manage staff at multiple locations, even sprawling companies can take advantage of a staff-wide upselling competition.


Digital receipts have an unusually high open rate compared with typical email marketing. According to a 2015 study by Silverpop, transactional emails (those triggered by user action, like subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase) have a median open rate of nearly 50%. That’s more than double the open rate of non-transactional emails. The takeaway? If you’re not adding value to your email receipts, you’re missing a golden opportunity. Use your receipts to upsell customers by suggesting a related item. Better yet, offer a discount for another purchase (like Starbuck’s popular treat receipt).


Amazon, as marketing guru Neil Patel rightly points out, is the king of the upsell. There’s a lot to learn there, but here’s one of our favorites: create a sense of scarcity. We’ve all seen how Amazon does it—letting you know there’s only a handful left of a certain item you’ve looked at or even put in your cart. “Order soon”, the site urges. Feeling that you might miss out is very compelling. Tap into that impulse by using mPOS to urge staff to mention that certain specials are almost sold out, so if a customer is interested they should place an order soon. Or add CTAs on your website that announce the impending removal of a seasonal menu item, with perhaps an added discount incentive to come in soon for one last taste.

When it comes to upselling, it pays to be creative. Use your mPOS system to make upselling easier and clearer for your staff, and to allow for last-minute pushes on slow nights. Thanks to the technology, it’s simple to motivate your staff to increase their sales and your profit margin, all while making your customers even happier.

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