Burger and fries. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Scrambled eggs and bacon. All of these delectable food duos are simply better together. But perhaps your customers are unsure about ordering that perfect side. How can you convince them to upgrade their meal, try a combo, and, consequently, spend more?
Usually, the job of upselling multiple messages is delegated to the waiter or cashier. As delineated by Rewards Network, there are several ways for servers to improve their upselling. The article recommends that waiters recognize “non-verbal cues” and realize “when guests want to be sold…or don’t.” These tips are incredibly hard to master and effectively turn your staff into mind readers. No one wants a pushy waiter, but these upsells do boost your restaurant’s bottom line.
The solution: let your customers choose the upsells themselves with self-ordering kiosks.
Why Upselling Works
Self-ordering kiosks are revenue–generating machines. By prompting your customers to add a side or drink, automated upselling increases the average ticket by 12-22 percent. Your kiosks will suggest add-ons that your customers are sure to love, items they probably wanted anyway, and make them visible and easy to select.
Another huge bonus: your customers won’t feel judged by a cashier if they add cheese to their burger or opt for a sugary drink. Conversely, they won’t feel pressure to add chicken to their salad if they have no interest, and they won’t be blindsided by an unexpected charge. If a waiter casually suggests an upsell, they don’t always mention the price. Self-ordering kiosks puts the customer in control of their meal and their bill. No judgment, no pressure and no surprises.
Be sure to remember that upselling is all about creating a better experience for your customers, meaning your kiosks will suggest items that make sense with their choices. If your customer is ordering a sandwich, they’re unlikely to change course and choose a steak. But adding coleslaw and house made chips? Very doable.
In other words, automated upselling might seem slight, but it is extremely consistent. Increase every ticket by several dollars, give your customers what they want, and watch your revenue grow.
The Automated Advantage
It’s tricky to train your staff to upsell perfectly, especially if there are dozens of menu modifications and non-verbal cues they must keep in mind. Kiosks will never forget the upsell. But how else can self-ordering kiosks revolutionize upselling?
The key is customization. As technology advances, self-ordering kiosks will use facial recognition or a customer profile to take order history into account. They can thereby offer personalized recommendations; the kiosks can suggest vegetarian sides to a customer who typically orders vegetarian meals. This personalization makes the ordering experience easier and increases brand loyalty.
Additionally, the self-ordering kiosks themselves can be tailored to your restaurants needs. QSR magazine explains that, just as with printed menus, you should consider where food items are placed on the screen to increase the chance of customers selecting them. This is why GRUBBRR’s self-ordering kiosks, for instance, are entirely customizable, allowing you to put popular or pricier items in prime spots. If desired, you can choose to display enticing pictures of every single dish, visually persuading your customers to order more.
Your kiosks can also collect valuable data about your customers’ ordering habits: “while it may be intuitive to suggest bacon to the burger customer, what if data suggests that the likelihood that the customer may be persuaded to purchase a milkshake is higher?” You can analyze this data and foreground the milkshake. Manage the content you display to the customer to make an upsell more likely and more profitable.
In 2018, Forbes examined Subway’s attempt to bounce back from rapidly falling sales in 2016 and 2017. Along with a loyalty program, an integral part of the sandwich chain’s reboot was technological innovation. Tellingly, the company opted for self-ordering kiosks and digital menu boards.
“Subway has noticed that guests who order via kiosks versus the counter tend to…add toppings such as bacon, and make their order a meal, with a drink and chips or a cookie,” Alicia Kelso writes. “In other words, the company is [already] noticing upselling opportunities.”
While Subway is a large chain, the principles of automated upselling can be applied to brands of any size: personalize the upsell, increase average ticket size, and allow your customers to fall in love with more of your menu items.
Kiosks will cleverly guide customers toward ideal add-ons. Just like a burger and fries, self-ordering kiosks and your restaurant’s bottom line are a perfect match.