Upselling in restaurant marketing

#marketing for restaurants

In “restaurant different types of strategies are applied throughout the year to ensure numbers don’t turn red. Sometimes, offering discounts and promotions can help you be profitable, but sometimes you need to boost those bills to get ahead. A good way to achieve this is through upselling.

Can you make “customer by selling them products similar to those they initially asked for but that are larger or of higher quality? Definitely! This strategy always works well as it offers the diner added value, who appreciates that the restaurant strives to increase their satisfaction levels. The best bit? It increases the restaurants’ turn over!

Upselling is…

A marketing and sales technique that consists of offering customers products similar to those they initially asked for, but which are larger or of higher quality, improving the customers’ experiencing and the restaurants’ turnover. It has been around forever in hospitality, only it is even more strategic now, as there is much more competition and a “personalised is the perfect addition to a .

You probably already do it every once in a while! So read on to perfect the technique and increase your sales.

The two keys to a good upsell

TheFork Upselling in restaurant marketing“Employees” must know the products on offer intimately so that they can offer them sincerely, and be honest about what they are selling. In this way, they can share the origin of the products and the history behind each dish, as a guarantee of quality. You have to think that the customer has probably already made a decision, so it is important that the waiter or waitress can show that their true goal is to improve the customer experience, not that they overeat.  

TheFork Upselling in restaurant marketingThe products must really be an improvement for the customer. Remember that it is very possible that the diner “leaves on platforms such as TheFork or TripAdvisor, so it is important that this review is positive, where the customer paid for a dish or a product that was similar to the one they initially wanted, and it was well worth it.

Example of upselling a main dish

TheFork Upselling in restaurant marketingThe customer wants to eat fish. The menu offers Battered Hake Fillet. The customer drools while making their order. The waiter can then upsell by suggesting they try the Roasted Red Mullet with Berries and Vegetables, a higher quality dish, made with a , fresher fish that is certain to leave them more satisfied. The waiter’s explanation convinces them and the client ends up enjoying the restaurant’s best fish dish.


Fact:“Social are the perfect showcase for upselling techniques. If the customer in this example had already seen a succulent image of the Red Mullet dish on the , they would remember it and be more willing to change their order.

Example of upselling in drinks

TheFork Upselling in restaurant marketingA regular customer asks for the usual: apple, ginger and carrot juice. The waiter knows that it is their favourite, however, they suggest they try the special house shake, as they are sure they’ll enjoy it. The waiter talks about its energising properties that will help them start the day, and mentions that it is more refreshing than their usual choice, perfect for “summer”, and also that it is larger so there is more of it. And as an added bonus, if they can’t finish it the waiter can put the rest in a take away container to go. As expected, the customer cannot resis

An upsell classic: Sell Sell​​a bottle of wine instead of separate glasses to a group of diners who want to drink the same.

Upselling the daily menu

TheFork Upselling in restaurant marketingOur client asks the waitress if the Lamb Hamburger with onion confit is sufficient as they are quite hungry. The waitress takes the opportunity to offers the customer their daily menu, as one of the second course options is the Lamb Hamburger, and it also includes an entrée and a dessert. The price difference between the Hamburger and the daily menu is 4 euros, so the customer agrees to pay a little more to eat more.  


TheFork Upselling in restaurant marketingThree customers want to order “tapas, but they cannot decide what to order because everything looks so good. The waitress upsells by offering a tasting menu, as that way, they can enjoy a selection of the best tapas in the restaurant. Will it be enough for three people?”, they ask. The waitress would reply:
You can always order something else if you’re still hungry”. The clients accept the suggestion, have a better experience and the restaurant increases its turn over.


Double bonus: To achieve better results, many restaurants combine upselling with cross-selling, where the customer is also offered complementary products to their order. “Click.

The perfect combination: Upselling and TheFork Manager

You might wonder… how can the reservation management software TheFork Manager help with upselling techniques? Well, the answer is simple: By using your customer database

The TheFork Manager tool can “create of each customer where you can record all their consumption details and preferences. Later when you do your shopping, you can buy products similar to their tastes and boost your sales with upselling. In fact, the more information you have about your customers, the more personalised your service and the easier it is to upsell. For example, if you know the type of wine your regular customers likes, you can upsell by offering better quality options, resulting in a win-win situation.

If you still do not have TheFork Manager to register your customers’ preferences, “click.

In short, the marketing of restaurants is built using several strategies that we must apply progressively and constantly if we want to see real results. Upselling is one of them. We hope it brings many benefits to your restaurant and that your customers are increasingly happy.  So be it!

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