Three Reasons Why Your Staff Doesn't Sell Add-ons

Almost every business has a way to generate more revenue very easily, food trailers are no exception. Every food trailer I have ever visited typically sells add-ons, drinks and sides, but rarely am I asked to upgrade my meal. There are most likely three reasons your staff are not asking. They are either ignorant, lazy, or scared. Before you criticize me criticizing your employees, let me explain myself…

Ignorant- Here, I'm really speaking of the possibility that they just don't know how... Your staff may not be asking if customers would like to add guac, a soda, a side, or dessert because they have not been taught. These small sales have probably the highest mark-ups on your trailer, you need to teach them how and why they need to ask. Customers sometimes don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know that to get the full experience of your sandwich that maybe they need to add the avocado. For a buck more, they get the full flavor and you get a happy, repeat customer as well as some cents in the till that will add up at the end of the day.

Scared- Some people just don’t like sales and they feel that asking about a meal add-on or a side is too "salesy". They can feel like they are pressuring customers or maybe have a fear of rejection… Whatever the reason, it’s silly. Show them personally how you do it with live customers and have them try. They will quickly see that it’s not a big deal and most customers don’t mind or are even grateful for the ask.

Lazy- This is worst… This is when staff know how and why to ask, but do not. They don’t see the value and don’t care. Some will say they don’t ask as it will slow the line down. It takes two seconds to say, “Would you like to add a drink today?” and about two seconds for an answer. This is just an excuse. Be diligent about having your employees ask questions that will generate revenue, make customers happy and secure their job. How much does it cost you to sell a bottle of water, maybe 50 cents? How much do you charge, maybe 2 dollars? WOW, don't you wish you could make 400% margin on your menu? Be sure that laziness (not asking) is not a problem on your trailer. 


Add-ons, drinks and sides are a great way to maximize profits. You spend time loading your trailer with these items, so isn’t the ultimate goal to sell them all? If you’re not selling them, you’re going backwards in the time it takes to stock, store or even discard if you don’t sell them. Hopefully next time I’m at your truck you will ask me if I want the works, I will never say no FYI! All you have to do is ask.

Current IMFT clients, Do you know we write workers’ comp in almost every state? If you have employees, you have exposure, get a quote! ;)