Monthly Archives: June 2011

Are you on Google Places?

Are you on the map yet?

Have you entered your hotel or restaurant onto Google places?

Increase your visibility by adding your details including a brief description of what you offer, a link to your website, photos and even videos. You can update it as often as you like. You can even adjust your location on the map if necessary, making it nice and easy for people to find you, and creating a great first impression.

It’s really easy to do; all you need is a Google account, and then set up your details and claim your spot! So when someone Googles hotels in X restaurants in Y you’re not only come up as a text listening, you will also be plotted on the map.


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How to get your staff Upselling ~ Part 5

Practice makes perfect

Here’s the final part of what to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.
Its all very well know what to say, but you know how sometimes when you come to say something the words just don’t trip off the tongue as you might hope!  Let you team practice in a safe environment, based on different scenarios.
Plan for objections
Whether an objection is perceived or real, staff need to know how to deal with these.  One awkward question can shatter confidence, so train staff to get to spot and handle different situations.
  • Distinguish between a definite ‘No’, and a simple request for more information before buying
  • When it’s just a matter of timing – they are too full now, but ask me again in 10 minutes
  • They want something more, but you’ve just offered the wrong thing
  • Explain the need to identify the nature of the objection by asking open questions
  • How to demonstrate empathy and understanding of the customer’s perspective
  • How to gain trust by matching the response or offering to meet the customer’s needs
Give incentives
Link your upselling activity to some goals.  This might simply be a target to sell x number of a certain product or service, or may be linked to specific financial profit targets.  Whatever goals you set ensure these are clearly measurable and achievable, that any incentive is equitable so everyone is motivated to contribute, and that you give regular updates on progress.
Guide and support
Don’t assume because you’ve told people how to do something they will be able to just go out and deliver it consistently. Observe how your staff handle the upselling conversation and give them feedback after the event on what they did well, what they could do more of, and give the appropriate support and guidance on areas where they need more help.

How to get your staff Upselling ~ Part 4


Here’s part 4 of what to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.
Teach staff the mechanics of upselling
  • The need for open questions to identify what the customer wants
  • How to listen actively to customers’ requests or preferences
  • How to respond, and make suggestions, or offer alternatives that best meet the customers needs
  • How would they describe each of your products and services?  Rather than a script, allow them to develop their own dialogue, one that comes naturally to them, rather than something they have to remember and run the risk of forgetting.
Tomorrow we’ll look at what you need to do to enable your team to put all this into practice to upsell effectively.

How to get your staff Upselling ~ Part 3


Spot the opportunities

Here’s part 3 of what to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.
Let staff identify all the situations that lend themselves as an opportunity to upsell – not just in their own department – but across all areas.
  • Options on accommodation – room upgrades, special packages, champagne in rooms,
  • In the restaurant – bottled water, suggestions for starters, accompaniments, side orders, deserts, desert wine, specialist coffees, after dinner drinks
  • Bar – branded beers, snack items, pasties with their coffee


I’m sure you’ll have many more specifics for your own operation

It’s also about timing – for example selling desserts – ask too soon and people say they are still too full, and go straight on to coffee, ask too late and they have gone off the idea, and want to head off home.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the third of the three key things your staff need to upsell effectively.


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How to get your staff Upselling ~ Part 2

Product knowledge

Here’s part 2 of what to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.

In order to talk about, recommend or upsell staff need to fully understand each of the products and services available. Do they know:
  • What are the high profit items
  • What are the component parts of any packages
  • What’s not included, but may be relevant to offer to the customer
  • What are the ingredients in a dish
  • What does it taste like
  • What are the best accompaniments to a dish
Allow staff to experience all the products and services first hand – this will not only make them more memorable, there will be more willingness to promote if they are confident to talk about it, and it will certainly be easier to evoke emotional appeal through vivid descriptions of taste, smell, feel, if they’ve experienced them themselves.
Tomorrow we’ll look at the second of the three key things your staff need to upsell effectively.

How to get your staff Upselling ~Part 1

Upselling is something we are all exposed to from time to time.  And whether you sell meals, bedrooms or widgets, it’s technique that can not only help your bottom line, but done well can give your customers an all round better experience if done well.  Here are some of the things to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.

Upselling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, but upselling can also be simply exposing the customer to other options he or she may not have considered previously. Upselling implies selling something that is more profitable or otherwise preferable for the seller instead of the original sale’.  But is it just about increasing the customer spend, or is it also about giving the customer a better all round experience, giving them something they might have forgotten to order, or never even thought of?

McDonalds of course are the masters of this – have you ever not been offered fries or a drink to go with your burger. And when was the last time you bought an electrical appliance and not been told the benefits of an extended warranty?

What to promote

So in order to do this effectively the first thing is to determine which are the products or services you wish to promote.  It obviously makes sense to be promoting high profit items, but there can be a danger in using this as the only criteria.  Unless what you are promoting is perceived as value to the customer, it’s unlikely the sale will be achieved, and does little to build your customer’s loyalty or trust.  It’s also important to distinguish between high selling price and profitability, and appropriateness to meet the customers’ needs.  For example upselling to a more expensive bottle of wine when it does not appeal to the customers tastes.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the first of the three key things your staff need to upsell effectively.

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Keep your restaurant menu simple

Do you find a menu with 25 items tempting or just off putting? It’s one thing to offer choice, but too many itmes on the menu just confuses your guests. And for you it leads to more stress and wastage.

Keep your menu simple, and well within the capabilities of your chef(s), equipment and front of house staff.

A smaller range of dishes prepared and served well will always fare better than an extensive menu that stretches skills and resources to the limit. Fewer items means a more streamlined kitchen, and gives your team the opportunity to spend time on each dish, instead of stessing about too many different dishes.  It also means lower stock, so better stock turnover and less wastage, helping you keep your kitchen costs down.

It allows you more flexibility to change your menu daily or offer specials to take account of seasonal availability – giving you the best quality ingredients, with the best flavour and at the best possible price.

What’s the point of a business card?

Whenever I visit a hotel or B&B I like to take a business card – well, I do if I think I will want to remember the place.

But I sometimes wonder why people bother with business cards. I mean, why have them if they are tucked away, where guests can’t see them?

Let me give you a couple of recent examples. One B&B I visited recently had cards for local businesses neatly displayed, and I picked one up, thinking it was for the B&B itself. (This is what happens as you get older and your eye sight goes – if I have not got my glasses on I never quite know what I’m reading!) When I asked for the right card, the owner could not even remember where she had left them!

Then at another a few days later I simply forgot to ask, as they weren’t visible. The chances are I’ll have forgotten the name of the place by next week.

And worse still at one hotel where we dined last week and had a fantastic meal with excellent service, the cards were kept in a locked drawer!

Do any of these ring true for you?

So what’s the point of a business card?

  • A memento for the guest of a good time
  • To find you easily if they have some feedback, either directly or on TripAdvisor
  • So they can remember you to make recommendations to others
  • Something to pass on to friends or colleagues so they can find you easily
  • So they can remember your details for a future visit, and help you get repeat business

Use your business cards to help build and maintain that connection with your guests. They are part of your marketing and PR armory. You’ve gone to all the trouble and expense of getting them printed, now make sure you are getting a return on that investment.

Hear it from the experts. Join me on my regular FREE interviews when I talk to hospitality experts and specialists and ask them to share their insights, strategies and secrets that can help to give your hotel a competitive edge. In my next interview I’ll be talking to Petra Clayton of Custard Communications, PR for hospitality businesses.  Find out more and register here.