In the competitive world of the restaurant business, finding innovative ways to increase revenue is crucial. One strategy that has proven effective is upselling, where you encourage customers to spend more by offering them additional products or upgrades. In this article, we will explore how to successfully upsell with ice cream in a restaurant setting in the UK. But, before we go any further, we’d like to highlight that we provide ice cream wholesale to hundreds of restaurants up and down the country, so we know a thing or two.

Understanding the Concept of Upselling

Before diving into the specifics of upselling ice cream, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of upselling itself. At its core, upselling involves suggesting additional items or options that complement the customer’s original purchase. By presenting enticing choices, you can enhance the customer experience and increase both customer satisfaction and average order value.

Upselling is a powerful technique that can significantly impact a business’s bottom line. When done correctly, it not only increases revenue but also strengthens customer relationships and builds loyalty. Understanding the basics of upselling is crucial for any business looking to maximise its potential.

The Basics of Upselling

Upselling techniques can vary, but there are a few tried and tested approaches that consistently yield positive results. First and foremost, the key to successful upselling is understanding your customers’ needs and preferences. By identifying what they value and desire, you can offer relevant and appealing upsell options that genuinely enrich their dining experience.

For example, if a customer orders a burger, you may suggest adding bacon or upgrading to a larger size. These additional options not only increase the value of the order but also cater to the customer’s preferences, making them more likely to accept the upsell offer.

Moreover, timing is crucial when it comes to upselling. You don’t want to bombard your customers with upsell offers before they’ve even had a chance to settle in. Instead, wait for an appropriate moment, such as after they have ordered their main course, to suggest a delightful ice cream treat to conclude their meal.

By timing your upsell offers strategically, you can ensure that customers are more receptive and open to considering additional purchases. This approach increases the chances of successfully upselling and leaves a positive impression on the customer.

Why Upselling is Important in the Restaurant Business

Upselling is not just about increasing revenue; it also plays a significant role in enhancing customer satisfaction. By offering personalised recommendations and options that align with the customer’s preferences, you can make them feel valued and catered to. This personalised approach can lead to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth, which are invaluable assets in the highly competitive restaurant industry.

When customers feel that their needs and desires are understood and met, they are more likely to return to the restaurant and recommend it to others. This word-of-mouth marketing can have a profound impact on the success of a business, attracting new customers and fostering a positive reputation.

Moreover, upselling allows restaurants to showcase their range of offerings and provide customers with a complete dining experience. By suggesting additional items or options that complement the customer’s original purchase, restaurants can elevate the overall meal and create a memorable experience for the customer.

For example, when upselling ice cream to accompany a meal, the restaurant not only adds a sweet and refreshing element to the dining experience but also demonstrates their attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction.

The Role of Ice Cream in Upselling

Ice cream has long been cherished as a beloved dessert and a symbol of indulgence for people of all ages. Its universal appeal and versatility make it an ideal product for upselling. Let’s explore why ice cream is a prime choice for upselling in the UK.

Why Choose Ice Cream for Upselling

Ice cream is a delightfully versatile treat that offers a vast array of flavours and toppings. Its customizable nature allows for endless combinations, making it incredibly adaptable to meet different customer preferences. This adaptability is a significant advantage when it comes to upselling, as it provides ample opportunities to cater to individual tastes and preferences. Whether it’s a classic vanilla scoop or a decadent sundae, ice cream can effortlessly elevate the customer’s dining experience.

Imagine a customer walking into your ice cream parlour on a warm summer day. They are greeted by the enticing aroma of freshly made waffle cones and the sight of colourful toppings displayed in neatly arranged containers. As they approach the counter, they are met with a friendly smile from your well-trained staff. The customer’s eyes light up as they scan the menu, filled with an extensive selection of ice cream flavours, from traditional favourites like chocolate and strawberry to unique creations like lavender honey and salted caramel.

With so many options to choose from, the customer may initially feel overwhelmed. This is where upselling comes into play. Your knowledgeable staff can guide the customer through the decision-making process, suggesting complementary flavours and toppings that will enhance their ice cream experience. By offering personalised recommendations, you not only increase the customer’s satisfaction but also boost your sales.

The Popularity of Ice Cream

In the UK, ice cream holds a special place in the hearts of many. Whether it’s a traditional cornet enjoyed during a seaside getaway or a modern artisanal creation savoured in a trendy dessert bar, ice cream has embedded itself in the British culture. This popularity ensures a high demand for ice cream, making it an attractive and profitable addition to your upselling strategy.

Picture a sunny day at the beach, with families strolling along the promenade, the sound of seagulls echoing in the distance. Children run excitedly towards the ice cream truck parked nearby, their eyes gleaming with anticipation. The ice cream vendor skillfully scoops generous portions of creamy goodness into cones, creating a masterpiece of flavours and textures. The delighted customers savour each bite, their smiles widening with every lick.

Ice cream is not just a dessert; it’s a nostalgic experience that evokes memories of carefree summer days and joyful celebrations. By incorporating ice cream into your upselling strategy, you tap into this emotional connection that people have with the frozen treat. It becomes more than just a product; it becomes a symbol of happiness and indulgence.

Furthermore, the UK’s diverse culinary scene has embraced ice cream as a canvas for creativity. Artisanal ice cream parlours have emerged, offering unique and innovative flavours that push the boundaries of traditional desserts. From exotic combinations like matcha green tea and black sesame to locally sourced ingredients like elderflower and rhubarb, these establishments have elevated ice cream to an art form. By aligning your upselling efforts with this trend, you position yourself as a purveyor of premium ice cream experiences, attracting discerning customers who seek exceptional flavours and quality.

Strategies for Upselling Ice Cream

Now that we understand the allure of ice cream for upselling, let’s delve into some effective strategies for successfully implementing this in your restaurant.

Creating Attractive Ice Cream Menus

One way to make ice cream an irresistible upsell is by crafting visually appealing menus that showcase your range of flavours and toppings. Designing menu options that are visually enticing and descriptive can stimulate customers’ desire for a sweet treat, increasing the likelihood of upselling. Consider using mouth-watering images and enticing descriptions to capture your customers’ attention and ignite their craving for ice cream.

Imagine a menu that transports your customers to a world of frozen delights. Each page is filled with vibrant colours, showcasing a variety of ice cream flavours that range from classic favourites to unique and innovative creations. The descriptions are carefully crafted to evoke the senses, using words like “creamy,” “indulgent,” and “decadent” to entice customers. The menu is not just a list of options, but a work of art that tells a story of the delightful experience that awaits.

As customers flip through the menu, their eyes widen with anticipation as they feast upon the tantalising images of scoops of ice cream piled high in crispy waffle cones, drizzled with rich chocolate sauce and topped with a rainbow of sprinkles. The descriptions are so vivid that customers can almost taste the creamy sweetness on their tongues and feel the cool sensation melting against their palates.

Training Staff for Effective Upselling

Your staff play a pivotal role in successfully upselling ice cream to customers. By providing comprehensive training on the different ice cream options available and teaching effective upselling techniques, you can equip your staff with the tools they need to excel. Encourage them to engage with customers, understand their preferences, and confidently suggest ice cream options that will enhance their dining experience.

Imagine a team of well-trained staff members who are not only knowledgeable about the ice cream flavours and toppings but also passionate about sharing their love for frozen desserts. They greet each customer with a warm smile and genuine enthusiasm, eager to guide them through the delightful journey of choosing the perfect ice cream.

Through training, your staff becomes experts in understanding the nuances of each flavour, from the smooth and velvety texture of vanilla bean to the burst of tangy freshness in a scoop of lemon sorbet. They are skilled in recommending complementary toppings, such as crunchy caramelised nuts or a drizzle of luscious fruit coulis, to elevate the ice cream experience to new heights.

As your staff engages in conversation with customers, they listen attentively to their preferences, taking note of their favourite flavours and any dietary restrictions. Armed with this knowledge, they confidently suggest personalised ice cream combinations that cater to each customer’s unique taste buds. By going the extra mile to create a customised experience, your staff not only upsells ice cream but also leaves a lasting impression on your customers.

Overcoming Challenges in Upselling Ice Cream

While upselling ice cream can be highly rewarding, it is not without its challenges. Let’s explore a couple of common obstacles and how you can overcome them.

Dealing with Dietary Restrictions and Allergies

In today’s society, dietary restrictions and allergies are prevalent. To ensure you can successfully upsell ice cream to all customers, it is crucial to offer a variety of options that cater to different dietary needs. Consider having gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan ice cream alternatives readily available to accommodate customers with specific requirements. By being inclusive and accommodating, you can upsell ice cream to a more extensive customer base.

Managing Ice Cream Stock and Quality

Consistency and quality are essential factors in upselling ice cream. Make sure you have a reliable supply chain in place to maintain a consistent stock of fresh and delicious ice cream. Regularly monitor your inventory to ensure you are well-stocked, and promptly address any quality issues that may arise. By prioritising the quality of your ice cream offerings, you can uphold customer satisfaction and build a solid reputation for your upselling strategy.

Measuring the Success of Your Upselling Efforts

Evaluating the effectiveness of your upselling strategies is crucial in refining your approach and maximising your results. Let’s explore some key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you measure the success of your ice cream upselling efforts:

Key Performance Indicators for Upselling

One essential KPI to consider is the percentage of customers who accept your ice cream upsell offers. By tracking this metric, you can gauge the effectiveness of your upselling techniques and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, monitoring the average order value and comparing it to pre-upselling figures can indicate the impact your ice cream upselling strategy has on your total revenue.

Adjusting Your Strategy Based on Feedback and Results

Feedback from customers and insights drawn from your KPIs should guide your continuous improvement efforts. Take the time to analyse the feedback you receive, and use it to adapt your ice cream upselling strategy accordingly. Whether it involves refining your staff training program or introducing new and exciting ice cream options, remaining responsive to feedback and nimble in your approach will ensure the continued success of your upselling endeavours.


In conclusion, upselling with ice cream in a restaurant in the UK can be a powerful strategy to increase revenue and enhance customer satisfaction. By understanding the fundamentals of upselling, capitalising on the appeal of ice cream, and implementing effective strategies, you can elevate your customers’ dining experience while driving your business forward.