You already know the basics, but developing a restaurant revenue management strategy demands some insight into how your sales vary during the day. One key to increasing your sales is to know how you should use upselling as a sales technique.

Are you surprised when one waiter tries hard to convince you to stay, relax, have some coffee on the house – and the next time you’re basically rushed out after putting your fork down? If the staff practice this without being rude, they’re doing something right. At least when it comes to maximizing profits.

A good place to start when implementing a simple strategy for upselling is to take a deep look into your point-of-sale system, and assign different hours of the day different temperatures.

Use your iZettle statistics to determine when the hot and cold hours occur. The slow hours, usually between lunch and dinner time, are “cold”. The rush hours are “hot”. Others times are just “warm”. The logic seems simple, but practicing it demands some skill.

Upselling in cold times

For example: if you’re in a cold period of the day, with few customers, you should try to upsell as much as you can. Would they like an extra cappuccino, some digestive, a cocktail before ordering? At this point, you shouldn’t even ask if the customers would like appetizers, dessert or coffee, just assume it. Also, be generous with free snacks and salty nuts. The customers should be well-treated and thirsty for more drinks.

Having customers in the restaurant also makes psychological sense. It’s a lot like house-selling − no one wants to go to a place where no one wants to go.

Turning tables in hot times

On the other hand, if you’re in a hot period, your main aim is to turn the table as fast as you can. Reduce the menu to include fewer – but more expensive − items, and make the process as lean as possible so the guests don’t have to wait. If there are people waiting for tables, don’t start mentioning your mouth watering desserts, or you might actually miss one turnover.

This mix between hot and cold selling strategy is the essence of restaurant revenue management.

Naturally, these practices call for subtlety and professionalism. If you push too hard for table turnover, you’ll receive some lousy reviews from disappointed Yelp users.


Did you miss our previous blog posts on Revenue Management? Relax, we’ve got you covered. Check out how to price your food right here, and how to think when it comes to seating strategies here. Have fun!