Situational Selling for Quick Service


To increase sales in your quick-service restaurant, you need to break out of the QSR rut. Lose the monotone “Would you like to up-size your value meal?” and insincere “I have to tell you about our whatever or we get counted off by our mystery shopper” or “Would you like to add another pizza for $5?”

One reason cashiers and phone reps don’t sell is a lack of confidence. Why? They don’t have enough knowledge. If, for instance, they haven’t been trained well on the menu (or the training was so long ago it’s been forgotten), they’re not likely to suggest these items. They’re afraid they won’t know an answer to guests’ questions. So what can be done to increase knowledge? Train them! Start with these ideas, customized to your establishment:

Ask questions. If guests are indecisive, ask what they typically order or what type of food they like so you can customize suggestions and ensure they have an outstanding meal. Suggest unique items. Everyone offers standard fare, and it should be on the menu, but to get guests coming back again and again, it’s a good idea to let them know about items they can’t get anywhere else. Or maybe it’s the method of preparation that sets an item apart. In other words, promote what makes your food distinctive.

Eliminate over-used lines such as “Would you like…” and “Do you want…” They virtually encourage a “no” response. For example, “Would you like a dessert?” If guests are indecisive, “no” is the easy way out. Or perhaps they’ll decline because there are too many unanswered questions: “How much is it?” and “What do you have?” and “Which one is the best?”

Watch the negatives. Since most cashiers sell like they’ve been sold to, they tend to repeat what they hear when they eat out. Unfortunately, many of those phrases are negative and may have crept into their vocabulary. When was the last time you actually listened to one of your cashiers or phone reps make suggestions?

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