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IS IT TIME TO SWITCH THINGS UP A LITTLE?

Reading Time: 5 minutes
cross selling, upsetting, review

You’ve probably made more changes to your business in the last six months than you’ve made in the last six years and, hopefully, they’ve paid off and you’re doing very well as a result.

But we’ve been speaking to a growing number of shops that are finding it more and more difficult or, who despite experiencing a surge in trade initially, are seeing it drop off now that the world and his wife are doing click and collect and delivery. 

So rather than introduce something else new, maybe the answer is to look at what you currently do and do some of those things differently. After all, why should you do something just because that’s how it’s always been done, or because that’s what someone told you years ago? 

Here are some examples of where challenging what you’ve done in the past could help you increase your profits, but also make your systems more efficient.

Cross Selling & Upselling

cross selling, upselling, review, business, efficient

Cross-selling is defined as selling an additional product when the customer is purchasing the original product.


cross selling, upselling, review, business, efficient

Upselling is defined as selling a more expensive product instead of the product that the customer was originally purchasing.


Not a fan of upselling? Actively discourage your staff from doing it? Feel uncomfortable encouraging your customers to spend more? Now’s the time to get over that and change. Yes, okay, when we think of upselling we tend to think of McDonald’s asking “is that a large?”, but without a doubt, it’s been instrumental in building the big profits it generates. 

If it still doesn’t sit comfortably with you, perhaps cross-selling is a better approach. A quick ‘do you want any mushy peas, gravy or curry sauce with that?’ will suffice, so it doesn’t feel like such a hard sell. You’ll be surprised how many customers say yes and, before you know it, they’re adding it to their order every time. Get comfortable with it, it pays!


In-Shop Customer Journey Cross Selling Example; ⬇️

😀 Employee – Yes madam.

👩 Customer – One cod & chips please.

😀 Employee – Did you want mushy peas with that?

👩Customer – Yes please.

In-Shop Customer Journey Upselling Example; ⬇️

😀 Employee – Yes madam.

👩 Customer – One cod & chips please.

😀 Employee – Was that a large?

👩 Customer – Yes please.

In-Shop Customer Journey Upselling & Cross Selling Example; ⬇️

😀 Employee – Yes madam.

👩 Customer – One cod & chips please.

😀 Employee – Was that a large?

👩 Customer – Yes please.

😀 Employee – Did you want curry sauce with that?

👩 Customer – Yes thank you.

No stock, no sale

cross selling, upselling, review, business, efficient

Cooking to order is often viewed as ‘the way’ to fry and some will say it’s a trademark of a quality shop. But maybe it’s time to mix that up a little. Having a few items ready to go but that will hold well – pies, sausages and fishcakes are good options – and ideal for customers who don’t want to wait. Think about it, if a customer comes in for fish and chips, but walks out because of an eight-minute wait, you’ve lost that sale. But if they go for sausages and chips you’ve still sold something. 

Also, from the outside of the shop, having a few items in the cabinet clearly shows you are open. It’s not unheard of for some customers to walk past thinking you’re closed while others can feel awkward asking for something that isn’t there. 

It’s a good idea to have a few portions of smaller items ready in the hot box, say onion rings, with a sign saying ‘three onion rings for 99p’. If someone comes in and has a wait for their order, these are the perfect snack – and it’s 100% profit because it’s something they were not planning on buying. It didn’t cost you any more to sell this product. 

You could also look at it as a natural way of upselling, remember if you haven’t got it you cannot sell it. 

Debottlenecking

cross selling, upselling, review, business, efficient

Rather than having cod in four sizes, haddock in two and one for plaice consider streamlining this. It will make purchasing much more efficient as well as prep as there are fewer products to get ready. When you are in the thick of it, this menu efficiency will really come in handy. 

Do an itemised report and build a spreadsheet to look at item sales, you’d be surprised how little of some items you sell. Weigh up the resources and time these low-selling products take away from you pushing out volume products and, if you’re still insistent on keeping them, charge more for them to make them worth it. 

In addition, everything is better when food is moving, for example, your oil won’t break down as quickly as it would if the range was sitting there idle. And remember, fish and chips is a volume business, so if you’re churning out the numbers your costs will start to come down. 

Sitting back sometimes and actively looking at ways to clear bottlenecks in your processes will help you really tune up efficiency. If you could serve an in-shop customer a couple of minutes faster without them feeling rushed, then that is a big deal.

Quality-price ratio

cross selling, upselling, review, business, efficient

Fish and chips has always been a value for money dish and the truth of the matter right now is that customers don’t have as much free cash as they did at the beginning of the year. Therefore, being the most expensive shop in the area could see you lose trade. 

By no means are we saying cut corners on quality, that’s the last thing we would recommend, but if you’re seeing a drop in trade one way to build that back again is by offering value for money. Introduce a McDonald’s style saver menu, products that customers can buy for a couple of quid, say. 

Not only will customers come in just for these, but others will add them as an impulse purchase to their order. And take a hit on kids’ meals for a while to get the family buying. Connect with these customers so that when you do put your prices up they’ve bought into you and will return.

Perhaps you could have more aggressive pricing if you were doing more volume? 

Go homemade

cross selling, upselling, review, business, efficient
Want this Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with Capers & Lemon recipe?

Cutting back on your fish sizes will probably mean you’ll have more trimmings so why not make some homemade fishcakes? They are great little profit earners, you can make them in advance and you can change them up weekly. If you were to make smaller versions, they would be great for the quick cross sell too. 

In fact, this is a great time to strengthen your brand by adding a few more signature items. If customers love them and they can only get them from you, you know where they are going to eat. It is pretty well-known that consumers really connect to businesses doing homemade food items. Consider this, what other advantage do you have against the multinationals or even a local competitor? If you made it with your own hands it is pretty hard to replicate the recipe.

We’ve put together some really simple and quick recipe ideas, from fishcakes and croquettes to pies and curries, which we guarantee anyone can make with minimal effort and skill.  

Blanching chips

cross selling, upselling, review, business, efficient

You might be old-school and like cooking chips straight through, but why not consider blanching? You will have to be organised in the pre shift and get ahead on your prep, but once sorted you’ll be finishing a portion of chips in under two minutes, which means customers don’t need to wait as long. Plus, on quiet shifts you’re not throwing out chips that are sitting in the hot box getting soggy and squashed. 

Blanching chips doesn’t have to be only for when you are quiet, think of the turn around when you’re busy too. 

Not sure how to go about blanching? Get up to speed with our guide.

Don’t be afraid to change things up and do things differently. If you implement all of these pointers, or even just some of them, your business will automatically become more efficient and better prepared for whatever the future holds. 


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