Good, Better, Best

UpsellingHow to upsell this festive season

With the days getting shorter, the nights colder and the smell of mulled wine filling the air, it’s time to embrace winter and capitalise on festive season spenders. Upselling is a great way to offer something better and interesting, while also increasing profits. But there’s more to upselling than just building the bill – rather focus on enhancing the dining experience.

Create bespoke drinks menus

Think Christmas cocktails and mulled wine, winter warming reds, whiskey and brandy flights, and dessert wines. This can be communicated through customer emails, table talkers, menu design, black board specials, back bar displays, merchandising and bottle displays. How should you use these to upsell? Simply highlight ‘house favourites’, or include taglines such as ‘if you like this, you will love that’. With technology like Enomatics, you can promote and showcase certain wines by offering them as smaller tasters. And don’t forget the importance of smell – nothing sells mulled wine better than the rich and spicy smell of a freshly made jug.

John Woodward, food and beverage director at The Royal Clifton Hotel in Southport, explains that they are basing their offers around retro Christmas cocktails this year. "These will be made in batches and will be offered at Christmas parties, as well as in the restaurant and bar. Retro Christmas cocktails include a Mulled Wine Martini, Snowball, Homemade Eggnog and Mince Pie Martini.”

Sell drinks with food

Create special pairing menus to promote certain wines, offer small plates of olives and fino sherry, or rich and warming Christmas-inspired cocktails. John explains that they will offer Hot Toddies and mince pies at midnight, while mulled cider will also be on offer in their bar. Dessert is another great way to boost alcohol sales during the festive season: try our boozy affogato recipes, liqueur coffees, or choose from a wide range of whiskies and brandies. You can also create a dessert pairing menu: combinations of cheese and port, rich desserts and sweet wine – it’s all about the experience!
For banqueting, pairing wine with food packages is a great way to upsell, moving away from price-led decision-making.

Christmas is about sharing with friends and family

Benefit from the season of giving by promoting wines by the bottle instead of glass, or by offering cocktails in sharing jugs. You can even include a few sparkling wines and Champagnes in magnum to really captivate your audience.

Get your staff involved

To increase the volume and value of drinks sales, it is important to get your staff behind it. Most upselling takes place through staff recommendations, making training key. Make sure they know all the food and drinks specials, and if possible, arrange for a training session with your Account Manager. Incentivising staff is another great way to boost morale and drive sales – a simple way to do this during the busy festive season is through an incentive such as the ‘cap and cork'.

Be creative… how will your offers stand out from the competition? Check out our Christmas cocktails and mulled wine recipes.

9th December 2015

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