I know it seems like its purely for the bar owner’s benefit for the bartenders to be up-selling, but really the bartender benefits EVEN MORE! It may be hard to believe, but it’s true! Read on to find out why!
1: Bigger Check = Bigger Tip.
This is surely the number one reason, even if you don’t give a crap about your customer (which you should, or you’re in the wrong business), the more you sell them, the bigger the check is when they pay their tab and so your 10/15/20% is a percentage of a bigger number. Its that simple. Now I do understand that not everyone works in a culture where tipping bartenders is the norm, but where it is this is pretty much a guaranteed way to increase your tip, and if you’re not, read on as the other information here will increase your odds of getting the tip, and when you do, the bigger tab comes back into play.
2: Up-Selling Makes You Look More Knowledgeable.
Regardless of your actual level of knowledge in bars, if you learn one premium version of each of your mainline liquors (Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, Brandy, Tequila etc) that your bar stocks, then go to their websites and grab a fact about why that is better than the house brand, you’ll sell the better spirit probably 75%+ of the time, and your customer will appreciate that you care enough to tell them. Even better you only have to do it once a night for that guest, as ‘the same again’ becomes that better spirit by default, and you’ve got that up-sell with zero effort.
3: Up-Selling can stop you getting punched in the face.
Seriously. People don’t like getting kicked out of bars or cut off, it tends to have a good chance of being a flash point in bars. However, if you’ve noticed someone getting drunk (and you don’t want to serve drunks, its illegal in many countries and could get you fined or worse) and you, before that ‘point of no return’ suggest some bar snacks, chicken wings, fries etc it will slow down the drinking and slow down the absorption of alcohol into their blood streams.
Also, you can just give them a glass of water with food – it doesn’t seem out of place (especially if they have hot wings or similar) which again will slow them down on their drinking. Of course you must follow the policies of your bar when dealing with drunk guests, as well as the law of your country, but this tip can avoid the worst of the situation happening in the first place!
4: Up-Selling Can Get The Party Started.
When you have a party show up at your bar, especially early in the night its time to up-sell the doubles, shooters on the side (technically a ‘bolt on’ rather than an up-sell, but it achieves the same thing so no complaints please) and large or ‘Ultimate’ (to use the TGI Friday’s taxonomy) cocktails. Offering these shows that you understand the needs of the group, and suggesting ways to fill that need. So many people think up-selling is pushy but it really isn’t, all you’re doing is offering a solution to the needs of your guests. You’re not trying to make more money, you’re making sure that they have a great time and making their night better, with a fun side effect of more cash in the register and more cash in your tip jar!
5: Up-Selling Will Make Your Boss Love You.
Yes, it can’t be denied that your boss benefits, but this is a GOOD THING! The reason they pay you your wage every week or month is because you make them money. If you make them more money than you did last month, guess what, your job gets safer every month. While no bartender is indispensable, you can make yourself more and more difficult to fire by making the boss more money than the other bartenders around you. When you mess up (and lets be honest, bartenders are not known for being the most reserved creatures, we’re party animals half the time) your boss is going to have a hard time justifying getting rid of you when you’re putting so much money in their bank account. I’m not saying mess up – I’m saying an insurance policy that you don’t have to pay for is never a bad thing…