We like nothing better than to be well cared for. When the waiter at our favourite restaurant remembers our tastes and suggests a dish that suits us, we usually thank him for the gesture. These kinds of positive experiences are examples of suggestive sales.
However, it’s a delicate technique. When given too much emphasis, it can become uncomfortable and spoil the diner’s experience.
That is why today we are presenting you with the most recommended strategies to make the most of suggestive sales and offer a memorable service for each of your clients.
What will you find in this article?
- What is suggestive selling?
- Increase your income with suggestive sales
- Suggestive sales strategies to boost your income
What is suggestive selling?
Suggestive selling consists of recommending to the customer the options offered by the restaurant to help them make a decision about what they want to eat.
It’s not just reciting every dish. It’s demonstrating knowledge, encouraging them to decide on a dish from the menu.
With this type of sale, customers notice a personalized service based on their tastes, which makes it better qualified. In addition, it is profitable and generates higher profits for the establishment.
A good relationship between the customer and the waiter has a positive impact that benefits the whole restaurant.
You have to be sensitive and empathetic to understand what the customers want, improving the order brought from the products on the menu, either with additional preparations or suggesting similar dishes.
Increase your income with suggestive sales
Suggestive sales strategies are not only aimed at improving the quality of the restaurant. An important point is to increase profits.
Without exaggerating, you should always understand the importance of providing exceptional service. This is the only way to ensure that your customers come back and continue to consume the options on your menu.
It is necessary to have a balance when applying the suggestive sale in order to make the customer loyal, without forcing them to consume the more expensive dishes offered in the menu. The idea is to show the different options on the menu with their favorite ingredients.
That is why you have to be very clear about what the limits are so as not to fall into an aggressive sale.
Waiters must have knowledge of how to suggest dishes without bothering people and when to stop, identifying when the customer is determined and knows what to order.
Customers must also be creatively convinced to consume the suggestions. Avoid at all times making them feel like neophytes in the field, you are there to help them.
Suggestive sales strategies to boost your income
It is normal that when we arrive at a restaurant, faced with a menu of varied delicacies, we are not sure of the dishes we are going to order.
This situation is ideal for you to put your suggestive sales strategies into practice.
Here are some tips to help you make your suggestive selling actions helpful to your customers and offer a first class service.
Get to know your customer
Not all customers have the same gastronomic tastes, so you have to vary the recommendations according to the foods they want to eat.
Some recommendations may work with new customers, frequent clients and even with amateur diners; however, you have to impress the most expert ones
From guiding customers to their seats to offering a menu, waiters should be aware of the options they are discussing to give them dish suggestions.
It is unusual for customers to order one of the waiters’ suggestions blindly.
All customer service staff should know the ingredients, method of preparation and spices in each dish. In this way, they will properly give all the information a person requires.
Customers notice when waiters do not handle all the information, a situation that makes them insecure and avoid ordering that dish for fear of the unknown or not knowing if it contains any ingredients they do not like.
In addition, when faced with this type of situation, the restaurant loses customers because it causes a bad impression.
Other information they should know is the price of each dish. Despite being on the menu, the diner can ask or the waiter can calculate how much they are willing to spend and adjust their suggestions to that reality.
If the waiters suggest the cheapest and most exclusive dishes, they will quickly catch the attention of the diners and they are sure to order those options.
Appropriate pairing with suggestive selling
It’s no secret that every meal has a wine that matches perfectly.
It is important to have full knowledge about the wines you have in your restaurant and what to drink with each type of food
Thus, when the diner says, “Bring me the best wine that matches this dish,” a gesture of total confidence, he or she will not be disappointed by the suggestion made by the waiter.
Some establishments usually have a wine menu for customers to choose from according to the type of food and whether they like sweet or bitter wines.
In addition to accompanying meals, wine is ideal for livening up after-dinner conversations among guests.
Sharing is better than nothing
Sharing a pleasant and quality time with family, friends, partners and even colleagues is part of the motivation that a person has to visit a restaurant.
Some also share with groups so they don’t feel bad about overeating, so everyone can choose the best option and split the bill. In these scenarios, the staff must be very attentive and assertive.
Welcoming these groups with a warm welcome and starting with the offer of a ticket, which can be shared during the waiting time for the main dishes, is a seductive idea for the table members.
Always use the word “share” and be gentle with your guests so that they are motivated to ask for the detailed suggestions you offer.
Make suggestions at the best time
It is important that waiters use the right amount of time to spend on suggestive sales with their customers, before they lose interest and only check the menu to order the menu.
Waiters should wait until people are seated and comfortable to order. If you approach before they have sat down, customers will feel pressured.
If they notice that a diner is undecided or has questions about the dishes, they should be cleared up. If they continue to be undecided, they will begin to suggest some preparations based on the questions.
Sometimes, customers ask for opinions about the dishes. This is an ideal opportunity to describe the dish, its ingredients, the seasoning and cooking method of each one.
For recommendations, it is important to ask if they have a favorite protein, what garnish they want to accompany it with and what drink they want to consume.
With this basic information, you will be able to offer the best options to your customers.
One step ahead of your customers
Waiters always have to be aware of what customers might need from the service.
Observe when they have run out of drinks or if they need a napkin, are those small details in the service that impress the customers.
If it is observed that the guests are comfortable with the conversation and do not change to the next dish, the waiter can suggest a bottle of wine or some other drink. This is one of the best techniques, since the client does not feel neglected and can be offered other foods from the menu in addition to the drinks.
Free tastings for everyone
For those customers who do not finish making a decision, a tasting is ideal for them to discover the flavours and ingredients that you offer in each dish.
The most feasible way to avoid generating losses in the business is to offer tastings of the profitable dishes that are part of the menu.
It has to be a small sample so that the customer feels like trying more and ordering that dish. And if their expectations are exceeded, you will get a new frequent customer.
Water and wine, indispensable at the table
A glass of water is an element that cannot be missing from the service, it must always be on the side of each diner.
Customers want to have a drink when they arrive and wait to be served, while they bring the dishes they ordered, during the meal and when they finish eating.
Water consumption is part of the store’s profits. The same is true for a drink as important as wine.
If they are drinking wine or water, when they finish the bottle, ask if they want another one or, on the contrary, suggest them another drink that goes with the meal.