Owning a juice bar is challenging.

There are so many things to keep track of and monitor, not only on the production side but on the business side as well. Cash flow, margins, gross profit, net profit, customer acquisition cost, lifetime value, average order value, etc. It’s enough to make your head spin. If you’re like many juice bar owners, you got into this because you love juicing. You know the value and benefits of drinking juice and how it can positively impact a person’s health and wellness. You’ve experienced those benefits yourself and want to share that experience and knowledge with others.

But you need to run a profitable juice bar. At the end of the day, you’re running a business and you need to make a profit in order to stay in business. If you want to keep offering your customers a path to a healthier lifestyle and keep paying your employees, you need to keep an eye on your business metrics.

On a basic level, you want revenue to be higher than expenses, and your cash coming in to be equal to or greater than the cash going out. There’s much more to it, and I don’t want to oversimplify things, but knowing your business financials is critical to keeping your business in business. Knowing that you want revenue to be greater than expenses, it’s never a bad thing to increase revenue.

One of the easiest ways to do that is with upselling.

What is upselling?

When a customer is purchasing a product at your juice bar, upselling is the last-minute suggestion made by your employee to add something to the purchase. These are usually impulse buys that are relevant to the customer and add value to their purchase. It also increases the order value and revenue for you.

Depending on your menu, upsell items can be things like added flavor shots, extra protein, a small sample bottle of a different flavor juice you think the customer may like. It’s all about reading your customer and suggesting things you think they would like in addition to what they’re already buying.

Upselling has several advantages over other methods of increasing revenue. For one thing, you’re dealing with an existing customer, so it won’t increase your customer acquisition cost. And it’s easier to sell something to an existing customer. You have a 60-70% chance of convincing a current customer to make a purchase compared to a 5-20% chance with a new prospect.

And if you do it right, you have an opportunity to improve the customer experience which leads to improved customer retention and higher lifetime value. Upselling should leave the customer feeling like they got a great deal. Yes, they’ve spent more, but they got something in return that’s of greater value than the extra cash they parted with – added nutrition, better flavor, more convenience, etc. It’s an opportunity for you to create a deeper customer relationship and for the customer to have a better experience.

Studies show that upselling works. According to the US Small Business Association, effective upselling can increase revenue by 15-25%.

That could make a big difference in your juice bar’s profitability. One of the easiest ways to increase revenue is with upselling

How to upsell.

  1. Educate your staff.

    First of all, you need to make sure your staff is well-educated about your products.

    For some of your customers, juicing is still new in their lives and they’re looking to your staff for info. Make sure your staff is knowledgeable about your products and their benefits. That way, whoever is working the cash register can make a recommendation that the customer will find relevant and helpful.

    You also want to educate your employees about how to upsell.

    They shouldn’t be pushy or salesy. While the business goal is to increase revenue, you’re trying to achieve that through an improved customer experience. Your employees should be helpful, not annoying. At the very least, every customer should be asked: “would you like anything else with that?”. But there are other, more subtle ways to upsell. For instance, after a customer orders an item your staff person could say “I like to add (blank) to that, it’s really good. Would you like to try that?”

  2.  Incentivize your staff.

    Consider setting up short-term contests for your staff to encourage upselling. Tip: Run the contest based on average order value rather than the quantity of a certain menu item sold. That way it’s fair for part-time employees or those working during slow shifts.

  3. Make it easy for your employees.

    If you can, add modifiers on your POS system for additions to menu items. This will remind your staff to upsell and make it easy for them to do so.

  4. Personalize upselling suggestions.

    Make sure it’s related to or compliments the original item(s) being purchased. If the staff person can find out what benefit the customer is seeking (e.g. weight loss, improved digestion, immunity boost) then they can personalize the recommended product to add. This little trick goes a long way in improving the customer experience.

  5. Choose products that are priced right.

    58% of successful upselling is for items priced less than 20% of the original purchase, and 31% of those are under 12% of the original price. So, if a customer is buying a $10 item, you’ll have more success adding an item priced below $2.

  6. Time it right.

    For maximum impact, the best time to offer an upsell is right before or while the customer is placing an order. If it’s too early the offer won’t register with the customer, and if it’s too late it will be ignored.

  7. Match the upsell to the season.

    Offers related to the holidays or seasons do very well. Special flavors or ingredients that are only offered at certain times of the year are a nice upsell.

  8. Test and modify.

    Whatever type of upselling you try, make sure you monitor the results and tweak if necessary. You won’t learn and improve unless you know what works and what doesn’t. You got into juicing because you realize the positive effects it can have on a person’s well-being. You opened a juice bar to spread that knowledge and experience, and now it’s become a platform to help others live healthier lives. But if your business isn’t healthy and profitable, you’ll lose out on being able to have a positive influence on others.

    Use upselling as a great way to increase your revenue and improve the customer experience. Making your customers happy while keeping an eye on your business metrics will help make your business strong so that you can continue to help others live healthy and happy lives.

Laura Babcock is a marketing consultant and copywriter working for Sailor Plastics check out her post on choosing a location for your juice bar.