Increase Restaurant Upselling and Grow Revenue With Mobile POS Systems

By: Justin Guinn on December 13, 2016

Could your restaurant use a boost in revenue? Would your servers like to be making more in tips? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you could benefit from adopting an easily implemented mobile point of sale (mPOS) system for your business.

You might be thinking that selling some “side fries” or getting a couple customers to “add bacon” isn’t going to do much for your revenue (or at least not enough to justify adopting a brand new POS). And if you were just making a couple of one-off upsells, then sure, you might be right.

But based on our data and the effectiveness these mPOS systems have in reminding servers to upsell modifications, you stand to make a pretty penny from these systems.

What Do the Numbers Say?

Let’s begin by checking out the impact a commitment to upselling can have on your restaurant revenue and the tips your servers are taking home. We’ll then dig into our consumer findings to inform you about the effectiveness of restaurant upselling.

The Calculator

We’ve created an interactive calculator you can use to see the impact even a $1 increase in your average ticket size can have on your business and your servers’ tips.

To use the calculator, input your average ticket amount into the first column. Then input your average upsell goal in the second column. You can then enter the average number of tickets the restaurant and/or an individual server get per day.

Once this information is entered, you’ll be able to see the impact that increase in average ticket costs will have on 1) your bottom line and 2) the amount in tips your servers bring home in a week/month/year at multiple gratuity percentages.

The Data

You can see from the calculator that restaurant upselling adds up quickly. But judging by our survey results, restaurants aren’t currently doing a good job with upselling.

Number of Times Customers Report Being Upsold


This data accounts for customers who have eaten out more than once a month on average over a three month span. Sixty-nine percent of respondents report eating out more than six times in that three month period.

With that in mind, the majority of customers are being upsold on no more than half their restaurant visits.

Put simply, restaurants need to attempt to upsell more often. Especially since the data also shows that a majority of customers are “moderately likely” or “very likely” to make a modification suggested by their server.

Customer Likelihood of Making Recommended Modification


While you’re not going to upsell all your customers, you have to take your shots. There’s one easy solution that’ll help you along the way.

Employing mPOS Systems With Automated Prompts for Servers

Based on the calculator, even a sustained minimal increase in modifications can have positive impacts on your revenue. And based on the data, customers seem open to modifications their servers recommend; servers just aren’t upselling these modifications often enough.

However, that can easily be remedied by employing an mPOS system in your restaurant.

With an easy to use, tablet-based system, servers are prompted every time they put an item on a ticket to ask if the ordering customer would like to add modifications. This could be anything from adding cheese to a burger to adding a side salad or adding an extra serving of protein.

The possibilities are only limited to what you put into the system ahead of time and of course, what makes sense to add, based on the composition of the item in question.

This upselling feature is most certainly part of the reason why 72 percent of small and midsize restaurant owners Software Advice consults are specifically requesting mPOS software for their new systems.

More Information on Mobile POS and Next Steps

There are tons of additional benefits to mPOS systems you can read about in our mPOS checklist guide. Here’s our checklist for features to look for in a mPOS:

Checklist for Selecting a Mobile POS System


If you’re looking to move to a new POS system in the near future, an mPOS would certainly make a great option for your restaurant. For even more information on mPOS systems, check out our mobile POS buyer’s guide for an outline of common benefits, features and hardware.

If you’re already actively searching for a new POS system, let one of our expert software advisors walk you through the best mPOS system for your restaurant.