Consultative Selling: 5 Ways to Help Operators Build Check Averages

•    Put desserts on sale. Make it a real value for guests to order more than one dessert per table by promoting special pricing for multiple dessert orders – i.e., one for $6, two for $11, three for $16, etc.

•    Pair foods with specialty drinks. Suggest bar food pairings that complement premium-priced signature cocktails and offer the pairings at special pricing levels. Whether guests order the food or drink first, train staffers to make the pairing suggestions.

•    Remodel the menu. If your customers’ menu isn’t really working as a sales tool, a reengineering could be in order. Evaluate the physical menu to be sure that the most profitable and differentiating items get the biggest play. If your company has a graphics and/or marketing staff available to help, get them involved.

•    Share the wealth. Social dining driven by shareable menu items is growing, and it’s a profitable way to build sales. Samplers of appetizers and desserts have proven to work, but some operators are taking the idea further, structuring their menus to include sharables in entrée and side dish categories, as well.

•    Sell Pre-App Snacks & Nibbles. It’s a whole new menu category worth exploring and includes “gently priced” tidbits that are easy to execute but distinctive enough to entice diners to order them as a kind of pre-app to the meal. Examples: seasonal marinated vegetables, crostini and seasonal cheeses, marinated mixed olives, devilled eggs – items that can appear on menu before the traditional categories.


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