Upselling Without Apologizing

Del TacoMy youngest daughter has a favorite fast food restaurant—Del Taco. (I know. Feel free to praise/criticize Del Taco as you see fit in the comments below, but this post isn’t about the tastiness or nutritional content of their offerings—it’s about the upsell).

They have trained their staff to offer an upsell with every order. Every time we order Katie’s dinner, they ask, “Would you like a churro with that?” Every single time. And sometimes, just because, we say yes.

The other night we said yes to the churro and the order taker was enthusiastically, effusively appreciative. He was one happy guy.

Until we got up to the drive-through window—then he apologized. “Sorry about the upsell.” The funny thing was, we weren’t. The upsell never bothers us. Why?

  • It’s offered in a friendly way. No pressure. If he had tried to force the churro on us, or tried to shame us into ordering one, we wouldn’t have gone back.
  • It’s a logical offer. We are already buying their Tex Mex, and churros are a Tex Mex dessert. If he had tried to upsell us some sushi, it would have seemed odd.
  • It’s an offer that will benefit us, at least on some level. If not our waistlines, then our tastebuds.

Here’s my question for you: What is your upsell? Is it friendly, logical, and beneficial for your customer? If so, you don’t need to apologize. And if you don’t have one, you and your customers are both missing out.

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