I was first to arrive and got a table for our group. The waitress asked me what I wanted to drink. I said, “water.” She told me about two types of special teas I should really try. I said, “They sound nice, but I want water.” She ran off to get me tea. I stopped her as she ran to the kitchen.
With water in hand, she told me about the day’s specials. I interrupted her, trying to spare her the trouble, and mentioned it was Ash Wednesday, so I wasn’t eating meat. She continued, confident she could sell me on chicken. I reiterated that next time I would try it, but not today.
When my friends arrived, the selling continued. Nothing could be mentioned without multiple upgrades being suggested. “Would you like avocado? Bacon? Cheese? A side salad? A large, instead of the small? I don’t want you to go hungry!”
Often, suggestions can make a meal better. However, when it’s especially obvious you’re trying to add to my bill, rather than my experience, I get irritated.
Eating lunch shouldn’t feel like buying a car.
No matter your industry, consider playing it cool and easing up on the aggressive pitch. Suggestions aren’t bad, but customers are more likely to return and buy more when they enjoy their experience and know you’re looking out for them.