Cross-selling across the room

21Dec12

One of our relatives was in town last weekend, so we decided to meet up with her for coffee. Most of the places that I’d normally grab a coffee close by 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday, so our late-afternoon meeting time meant that I had to pick a different venue than usual.

I remembered that a new Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood has a coffee shop on one side of their space, and they stay open until 10 pm or so. We decided to give it a try, and sure enough, the coffee was great and everyone had a nice time.

One thing struck me as odd, though. The coffee bar wasn’t separated from the main dining area at all, yet the staff acted a bit weird when we asked where we could sit. Apparently, the coffee shop section was designed mainly for take-out, with a tiny bar counter as an afterthought. Since the restaurant wasn’t that busy, they let us sit in the main dining room, but I kept feeling like they could do a lot more with the two seemingly separate sides of the venue.

For instance, why not offer a 10% discount on dinner to anyone who comes in for a coffee and may want to stick around for a full meal? Or, how about describing one of the featured menu items from the restaurant on the coffee shop receipt or via a separate handout?

Either way, if you’ve got customers coming in and only purchasing from one part of your establishment, it makes sense to use those interactions to cross-sell them on your other offerings. Even if only a few feet separates one part of your venue from another, a little encouragement can go a long way towards motivating customers to try new products and services that they would otherwise breeze by during their daily routines.



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