Upselling is an art that involves persuading guests to upgrade their purchases to superior
ones. Cross-selling is similar; customers are offered additional items or services to
complement their selection. These upgrades and add-ons ensure they stay longer, or eat
more, resulting in increased revenue for your hospitality business. Upselling also
improves guests’ experiences and fosters loyalty. Maximising guest spend is one of the
fastest ways to improve the bottom line of any business; the trick is knowing how to do it. For
those ready to learn the art of upselling, we have a few techniques for hospitality sales
Upselling Starts with Great Customer Service
Customer service begins when a customer or guest books their table, reserves a room, or
walks through your door. With a warm, welcoming environment and a professional manner,
you are more likely to endear yourself to your customers. A good first impression makes you
approachable and gives your recommendations more credibility. Ensure you listen to
your guests’ needs and questions so your suggestions are relevant. When guests feel
welcome, they also tend to stay longer, eat, drink, and spend more. If you struggle to
connect with your guests, they are less likely to order that extra bottle of wine or book that
spa treatment, so it’s critical.
Maximising Guest Spend in Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars
Restaurants, cafes, and bars are the perfect setting for upselling. It begins with a
strategically created menu highlighting signature dishes, chef’s recommendations, or
premium options with enticing descriptions. Each guest will interact with their servers
differently. Some guests may want these dishes described by their server, while others may
prefer to read the menu and focus on their company, choosing to ask for assistance if they
When taking orders or checking in on your guests, mention the specials and suggest
appetisers or side orders such as salads and tapas or beverages such as wines, cocktails,
or coffees which may pair well with their chosen dish. Even a suggestion as simple as
adding avocado to a salad can be a win. These small suggestions show that you have
considered your guests’ needs thoroughly, enriching their time in your establishment and
likely increasing their spending.
Maximising Guest Spend in Hotels
Upselling and cross-selling techniques encourage guests to explore other offers and
additional products. With a bit of persuasion and a targeted approach, guests are likely to
appreciate the personal attention and recommendations and may spend more as a result.
For example, one can cross-sell additional services, such as spa treatments, at a hotel.
Presenting them with relevant options in a personalised and professional manner will seem
more thoughtful than pushy.
On arrival, hotel employees can also offer to upgrade guests’ rooms by highlighting the
features and benefits of higher-tier accommodation. Employees can discuss the benefits of
enhanced amenities, breathtaking views, late check-out options, concierge services, and
exclusive access. These offers should be positioned as valuable enhancements to the
overall guest experience. If these add-ons are available in package deals and promotions,
even better. Bundling various amenities and services allows guests to try things they may
not have considered if they were only available as individual purchases.
More than anything, when you take a genuine interest in your guests, upselling and cross-
selling becomes easier. Give them your full attention at every point of contact and pre-empt
their needs. While specials, package deals, and a great Instagram profile are important, it’s
your personal touch that truly seals the deal. Consider enrolling in a reputable hospitality
course if you want to improve your customer service skills and learn more upselling