The Art Of Suggestive Selling. Efficient Tips on improving your Tips

Published: 16th August 2011
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How many times you have gone to a restaurant and did not like the dish you ordered and wished someone would have told you what to order?

Who knows the best about the food and beverage in a restaurant? "It's You!"

Do you know that 70% of the guest do not know what they will order when they come to the

restaurant.. So it depends on you to make a guest's experience even better by suggesting them

food and beverages as per their needs and wants.

So what is Suggestive Selling?

• Suggestive selling is offering an additional or complimentary item to a guest. By making the suggesting specific, the guest is more likely to say "yes.”

• It is not about being too pushy or too aggressive and giving the guest a "hard sell.”

• Effective suggestive selling begins with a positive attitude.

• Suggestive selling has two purposes:

• It helps to educate guests about different products (by offering them).

• It helps increase sales volume of your restaurant (through increased check size and increased frequency of visits).

Suggestive selling is an integral part of guest service.

It is your responsibility to get the guest to order for the product which is right for them; but it

should be done discreetly!

Suggestive Selling Guidelines

• The greeting is the key to a suggestive sell. If the register person has good eye contact, a sincere smile, etc. the guest will be less likely to be rude when turning down a suggestive sell.

• Sometimes, it is not what is suggested, but how it is suggested. Suggesting with a friendly personality will help achieve your goal of building sales, while not turning off your guests.

• Suggestive selling is an art. It requires good training, continual practice and fine-tuning, combined with a dose of common sense.



• Suggest complimentary items.

• Example: " How about some of our fresh fries to go with that sandwich...”

• Suggest combo meals adding a drink and/or fries to a sandwich.

• Be aware of your guest. (Are they searching the menu / menu board looking to see what you have? Is he or she undecided on what they want to purchase?)

• Get to know your regular guests. Call them by their name. Know your menu and know what they want. Suggestive selling should be used with discretion.

• Encourage regular guests (who always order the same thing) to try new items. This may increase frequency of visits.

• Suggest items by name.

• Example: instead of, "how about a dessert,” say, "how about a slice of our fresh apple pie with that.”

• Try suggesting an item at the beginning of an order.

• Be creative and use humor.


• Suggest to kids (This can make parents angry).

• Suggest more than one item.

• Suggest by always asking yes or no questions.

• Example: Instead of "Would you like...?" Use statements like "How about...” or "...(item) would go great with that.”

• Suggest items in general.

• Example: "Do you want anything else?” (Avoid this phrase!)

• Suggest to guests who end their order with "and that’s it,” or "that’s all.”

• Be too pushy or aggressive. Know when to back off. Know when suggestive selling is not appropriate (if the guest says, "that’s all” or is obviously in a hurry).

There’s a difference between suggestive sales and being pushy. It may be a fine line, but it’s never been more important!

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