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QSR’s May Be Missing Sales

“Would you like fries with that?”


A simple phrase can generate 10% to 40% more sales, according to a recent study in which 12 QSR’s were evaluated as part of a mystery shopping study.


While this study was limited in scope and it does not appear that sufficient data was collected necessarily (each of the brands were shopped twice at different locations for this study), it does bring home an interesting talking point. Results point to the fact that 54% of the interactions did not lead to an upsell or cross sell.


In talking with others about this topic, there are many reasons for failure to upsell or cross sell:


1. Employees (usually the younger crowd) may not feel comfortable doing this on a consistent basis. In QSR, often times teens are hired for their first job, and they need to learn skill sets to effectively cross sell and upsell. This is simply a matter of training and encouraging confidence when interacting with customers.


2. There may be cases of inadquate training. If employees aren’t familiar with the menu and/or promotions before being put on the front lines, they may not have the tools needed to be able to do this effectively.


3. Customers are always seemingly rushed these days, and employees may not want to “bother” them. Similarly, they may have attempted to upsell or cross sell to an unpleasant customer, which leads to a negative experience and they are leery to do this going forward.


4. During busier times, there may not be enough staff available, and employees are rushed to serve customers as quickly as possible and may “cut corners” by not upselling or cross selling.


During training of new staff, it is important to fully equip employees to be able to do this as a natural part of the conversation when interacting with guests. Continually review of menu options and promotions can help as well. Customers are more open to upselling attempts when it’s done in a natural manner that “makes sense” – if a customer is dining along and orders a value meal for dine in, asking “Would you like to add a second meal for only $3.00” probably isn’t the way to go. However, mentioning promotions or adding a dessert or larger beverage option might go over better.


Not sure how cross selling attempts can impact your bottom line? Take a look at our interactive cross sell chart to see the  numbers for yourself.


QSR’s have a good advantage with regard to upselling and cross selling over other verticals, such as retail or banking – take advantage of the opportunities and help your staff to consistently upsell and cross sell. It can go a long way for your bottom line.



Author: Ann Michaels & Associates

Ann Michaels & Associates has been providing customer experience measurement services since 1998. We provide a full range of services to meet the needs of all industries and company sizes, including mystery shopping, customer and employee feedback services, and social media management.

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