How to up-sell and use promotions to maximise your café profit



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In retail, they often say the hardest part of the sale is to get someone in the door but Zummo Founder Chris Horn disagrees. He believes that most cafe businesses go broke not because they didn’t’ get the foot traffic but because they didn’t know how to promote and maximise the sale.

“In retail, foot count is vanity, profit is sanity.”

So how do you maximise your profit? With upsells and promotions of course! Here are Chris’ top tips:

Place the goodies by the counter. “Do you want fries with that?”

You’ve served the coffee and food items and now to the cashier to pay. Grab the impulse sale and increase your average cheque dramatically.

Put your most popular and delicious goodies on the front counter near the till and make it impossible for your customers to resist! Put you pre bottled Zummo juice into an attractive clear ice bucket or champagne urn with lots of ice to produce condensation on the sides giving the impression of ‘lovely chilled’ juice. Ask for the sale by directing the customer to the product as a take away item and suggesting the purchase. 7 out of 10 will buy and if the love it they will return. Customer loyalty is king in the highly competitive café market.

Still or sparkling?

This one’s a bit sneaky. For most cafés and restaurants, cold beverages are the most high-margin items on the menu. So, when someone orders water with their meal: consider asking if they prefer still or sparkling. Or, offer ‘still, tap, or sparkling’. In that order. Why? The answer is serial position effect, which is the tendency of people to recall the first and last items in a series best. Sneaky, but smart. Offer the orange juice as an alternative. Many people are coffee’d out after two or three cups and are looking for an alternative. Your Zummo OJ will not only taste delicious but will deliver a pleasing ‘pick me up’ at any time of the day.

Reward loyalty

Customers like to feel special and be rewarded for their loyalty. Be attentive and ask for the customer’s name, then look at their face and thank them by name for the business. Learn their names so that you greet them on sight and ask if they want their usual. Customers love this! Hand out loyalty cards and give every seventh coffee for free. A small price to pay for gaining a repeat customer.

Offer samples

How can you expect your customers to pay $5.00  for an orange juice when they don’t know how heavenly it tastes? Offer them a little sample in a shot glass with their coffee, and they’ll be hooked. My own café experiences have found that food and drink samples can increase sales by as much as 2000%.

Package it!

Assemble pre-made packs for customers on the go. Breakfast and lunch packages can include a freshly squeezed Zummo drink in a bottle, something savoury/healthy , something sweet and a bread roll.

Again, increase your average cheque by selling convenient combinations of a meal and a drink at an attractive and still profitable price. Orange juice is perfect for this as the higher margins in the juice can help to offset the actual and perceived discount by purchasing the combo.

Plat du jour. Save on Food Cost and increase average cheque.

Serve daily specials. Larger quantities mean lower costs and higher margins. At the same time, you’ll have an ever-changing menu that attracts locals again and again.

Ask questions

Instead of trying to upsell in the dark, strike up a conversation. Ask your customers what they’re currently craving, THEN recommend.

Quality over quantity and profit from it.

Keep your menu simple. My experiences prove that too many choices can make customers overwhelmed and lead to fewer sales. You don’t have to offer your guests 10 different green teas. Identify the items you sell the most and focus on them, then get rid of the ones that are less popular. Concentrate your sales suggestions on the highest margin items, e.g. 350 ml bottle of Zummo orange juice has a GP of 75% at average sale price of $5.00 delivering and extra $3.75 per unit sold. If you sell 50 bottles a day over 5 days trading you will increase your GP by a cool $45,000 PA. Don’t tell me that you don’t want that.

Your business is in the cards and on the phone

And obviously – if you don’t already – make sure you accept all credit cards without any percentage surcharge. This really irks most customers as who rarely has cash on them anymore.  My experience has demonstrated that consumers tend to spend more and are willing to pay more for a specific item when they use their card.

Adopt all payment platforms and you will not be chasing customers away.

This article was written by Zummo Australia Founders and serial entrepreneurs Chris & Marcelle Horn

Chris and Marcelle Horn owned and operated a successful production engineering business for 15 years, followed by four McDonald franchises which they ran for 15 years before selling up to “retire”.

After taking a trip to Europe the couple decided retirement was boring, so they opened their own cafe ventures and installed a fabulous new orange juice machine that they’d discovered on their holiday. The Zummo machines did so well in the café and the orange juice was such a hit with the customers that they kept coming back for the orange juice adding a stress-free income stream that literally paid the rent.

Chris then decided to approach the Head Office of Zummo in Spain to negotiate the acquisition of the Australian Distribution rights for the range of Zummo products.   Less than 18 months later he was so busy with the Zummo business that Marcelle sold her cafes and came into the Zummo business to help.

Today Zummo Australia have installed over 500 machines and helped small to large businesses improve their financial health with the amazing profitability of the Zummo machines and the health of their customers by offering a truly fresh and healthy orange juice that is free from preservatives or any added ingredients.

To find out how much profit a Zummo Machine could add to your business visit our online profit calculator.


Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels