upsells for pizzeriasUpselling – or suggestive selling, as we call it – should be an important marketing strategy for your pizzeria. The best pizzerias train their employees how to upsell customers in order to turn a greater profit on each order. This isn’t to say you need to push customers to double their order; but encouraging customers to add something they weren’t planning on buying to their orders can add to to major profits over time. The trick to increasing upsells is to make your offer both known and palatable. Here are 10 upsells for pizzerias you can employ to increase your profits, as well as tips for selling them.

1.  Specialty Pizzas

Many customers like to build their own pizzas, but you can steer them toward specialty pizzas that feature premium ingredients. Your specialty pizzas not only cost more, they have higher profit margins. If a customer adds chicken to his pizza, ask if he’d like to try your tangy buffalo chicken pizza instead. This also works if you have specialty pizza deals – always offer your specials when answering the phone.

2.  Order Size

This one’s easy: if you can offer a medium or large for a couple of dollars more, make sure you ask your customers if they want to upgrade. Be specific in what they’re getting. If your large essentially offers four more slices than your medium, make that known in your pitch.

3.  Extra Toppings and Sides

Simply ask if your customer would like to add an extra topping will generate a lot of upsells for your pizzeria, especially if you make a genuine effort to provide a good match. Bacon and onions go well together, so if a customer orders a pizza with one of those toppings, ask if they’d like to add the other. You can also suggest add-ons such as basil to any pizza.

Extra sides are other great suggestions when well-paired. If you have a customer who orders a pizza and a salad at $17.99, you could suggest your $19.99 pizza, salad, and cheesy bread sticks meal deal. By suggesting the meal deal, you’re able to offer your customers real value and increase profitability.

4.  Extra Sauce

We all know how frustrating it is to run out of sauce before the breadsticks are gone. Ask your customer if she wants to add an extra sauce to make sure she doesn’t run out. Our bread sticks come with one sauce (pizza or ranch), so we ask our customers if they’d like pizza sauce, ranch or both. Around 50 percent of customers always select both, and we charge for the second sauce.

5.  Salads

Salads are excellent appetizers to upsell, especially if yours have a hook. At Detroit Style Pizza Co., we prepare “premium Five Star salads with only the freshest baby greens.”

6.  Pastas and Subs

Ask your customers if there are any pasta or sub lovers in the house, then offer your house specialty or signature salad for an additional fee. Making the association to a family member’s favorite food is a powerful way to upsell menu items.

7.  Wings

The same goes for chicken wings, especially if it’s Game Day. Ask your customer if they’d like to add an order of wings to enjoy during the big game. In this manner, you’re projecting a desirable experience, and customers will buy in.

8.  Bread Sticks

One of the most popular (and easiest) upsells, bread sticks are even easier to upsell when you have a special hook: cheesy bread sticks, special seasonings, limited-time sauces, and other variations are excellent ideas.

9.  Drinks

Ask customers if they’d like to add an ice cold two-liter to their order. Often, this will remind customers that they’re out of their favorite beverage at home, and they’ll agree.

10.  Desserts

Desserts are best sold vividly. Don’t simply ask if your customer wants to dessert. Ask if they’d like to add a cool slice of tangy key lime pie on a buttery graham cracker crust and topped with sweet whipping cream. They’ll practically be able to taste the dessert, and won’t be able to resist.

Finally, keep in mind that upsells shouldn’t be treated as a sales tactic – at least, not to customers. You want to come across as being enthusiastic about having something great to share with your customers, and you don’t want them to miss out on such wonderful flavor. Ultimately, you want your customers to be thrilled with their extra menu item – so much so that they thank you for suggesting it and order it again next time.