Food truck upselling is an easy way to improve your food truck’s profits immediately. It will increase customer satisfaction and check size, so take some time to train your staff in effective upselling techniques.

Follow these seven food truck upselling tips to help start improving the profits of your food truck:

Do not annoy your customers.

The best time for you to upsell is when the customer asks for your opinion. You can then suggest whatever you want. Otherwise, you or your staff can typically only pitch 1 or 2 upsells without annoying the customer. It is important to be subtle with your upselling techniques. Otherwise, the customer will feel pressured. Getting a few extra dollars from the customer does not do you any good if you permanently lose that customer due to pushy upselling techniques.

Predetermine items and times for upselling.

Train your staff to always upsell certain menu items at certain times. For example, if your Mexican Coke is a profitable item and is usually well-received, you should tell your employees to mention the Mexican Coke when they take customers’ drink orders. Or, if you run a Mexican themed truck, you could always ask customers in line if they would like to order chips and salsa while they are waiting in line.

Provide useful suggestions.

Food truck upselling should seem like good service rather than a sales pitch. For this reason, it is best that each employee to know everything about menu offerings so they can practice good consultative selling and make appropriate suggestions. They should also have significant knowledge of wine and food pairings even if wine isn’t something that is served from food trucks. Customers appreciate these suggestions and won’t be viewed as a sales tactic, but as quality service.

Make the upsell enticing and convincing.

Staff should be knowledgeable and seem excited about the things they are selling. For example, servers should not just ask, “Would you like a dessert?” Instead, they should mention the benefits of getting a dessert and make the dessert sound enticing: “Would you like to end with something sweet?” Remember, a lot of people really do want the item you are upselling, but perhaps they are hesitant to overindulge or spend too much. All they need is to be convinced.

Upsell to uncertain customers.

Customers who look at the menu a long time or seem indecisive about what to order or hesitant in any way are most open to suggestion. Your employees should be trained to read body language and attitude, so they can identify the customers who might respond well to suggestions.

Make assumptions as well as suggestions.

An example is the “nod” technique. If a customer orders fries, the order taker should look them in the eye and say, “A large fry?” while nodding. Most likely, customers will reply in the affirmative, even if they were originally planning on ordering a small fry.

Try downselling.

Although it is usually ignored, downselling can be the perfect alternative to food truck upselling, especially in these times of economic hardship. Downselling involves offering a more expensive option first, and then offering a more economical alternative when the customer refuses. This will make customers perceive the more economical item as a higher value.

If you have other useful food truck upselling tips that have helped your food truck business, share them. We’d love to hear them. You can share your tips privately via email or publicly through Facebook or Twitter.