Front-of-house staff could drive customers away if they use aggressive sales techniques during the credit crunch, the Academy of Food & Wine has warned.
The Academy said eager staff pushing higher-priced wines, coffees and desserts to customers to boost profits were in danger of losing them while the economy looked shaky and should “remain sensitive to customer needs”.
“Some restaurateurs are advising front-of-house staff to try to sell more to customers to increase their spend and boost profits. While this can be a positive thing in a strong consumer market, in a weaker one the focus should be on adding value and encouraging people into restaurants. If staff adopt an over-zealous sales technique it could end up driving customers away,” said Academy Director and Chief Executive Nick Scade.
With reports of inflation hitting 3 per cent today and food and energy prices rapidly rising, many people are feeling the financial pinch. The Academy advised restaurateurs to add value to existing menus and wine lists to encourage regular trade during the economic downturn.
Scade said: "The industry needs to respond to changing market forces to keep customers visiting restaurants. It is better to add value with extras such as a free carafe of tap water, special menus focussing on seasonal dishes, or price promotions on weekdays or lunches.”
Read about how the credit crunch is affecting the restaurant trade in Andy Lynes` blog A Real Downer?