Thursday, July 15, 2010

As usual, they're wrong.

Corporate loves to tell us that if we upsell, we'll make more because people tip on percentage. They're always giving us examples like if a table ordered two small salad entrees and water, that's $12 and we'd get a $1.80 tip. But if we got them to order a premium margarita each, and an appetizer, and larger salads, and a dessert to share, that's a million dollars and we'll make a million dollars!11!!1!

Yeah ... except it doesn't really work that way in this restaurant. Someone actually did a study on us once, and their conclusion was that when people just want food they go to McDonald's, when they want good food they go to one of the slightly more upscale chain options, and when they want okay food at a certain price they come to us. So basically most people walk in expecting to pay a certain amount, and if they spend more, their server suffers.

The last two weeks, I have said "fuck upselling" and not pushed anything. I haven't even suggested drinks, just asked what they wanted. And you know, overall, my tip percentage has been a LOT better. My actually money made had sucked big floppy donkey balls because of the sections I've had, of course.


wigsf said...

like the usage of "donkey balls"

SkippyMom said...

I hate, hate, hate upselling and I hate when I am trying to upsold. I know what I want - plain and simple. I tip well anyway for good service - but I hate pushing crap on people that basically I know are just there for their lemonades [right!] free bread and the cheap entree. The tip is going to be the same regardless.

crystal said...

I love this post!! Why do managers/owners/etc not get the flaws in this concept?! My boss would always write on the board the "extra tip" amounts that we would get for each dessert sold.......sounds good, except that dessert adds a good 20 minutes onto the table which could be spent starting a new turnover!!
Someday, servers will take over the industry and make millions! :)

fuckmytable said...

Things that I will upsell:
Appetizers (doesn't add on any time to the table if they're already planning on getting one);
Guacamole (doesn't come with any dish, and it's easier to offer it while ordering than make a separate trip for it later);
Burger add-ons (fried jalapenos, avocado, etc, for the same reason as the guacamole);
Margaritas (if they're already planning on ordering one I suggest an expensive one that's popular)

I sell those to boost my per person average and to show that I am upselling, since those both play a hand in scheduling and sections.

I offer desserts but don't push them too hard since, as you said, it just keeps them occupying a table for that much longer. If we're busy I never offer them and just drop the check.

People visit my chain for cheaper decent food as well, so I'm not doing myself any favors by increasing my tip-out amount (since it's based off total sales and not my tips) when the tip's not going up too.

yellowcat413 said...

I hate upselling unless it is something that goes with the entree and maybe the customer has forgotten to ask for.

One manager insisted we hard sell the beer. Do you know how hard it is to sell beer to high school sports teams? Oh, well yeah, it's easy until you start asking for ID. Jerk.

Manda said...

fmytable. Smart point about upselling- we have to tip out on the percent of our sales and not what we actually have made. The only thing I upsell is alcohol, if they look like the right person or are looking at a bar menu. Alcohol sales are a big thing to managers.