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Sep 26, 2012 01:19 PM

Do you ever order less because of obnoxious upselling?


Personally it bothers me when waitstaff upsells, especially with alcohol. There is a waterfront restaurant in the area where the servers always greet you by asking, "Can I start your meal with a cocktail or some wine?" It must run in my family because at brunch there one day my father responded, "My favorite cocktail is water"

While my dad doesn't really drink, I declined a cocktail or wine as well and opted for water. I probably would have ordered a soda or something though if the waitstaff had just asked what we wanted to drink. Does anyone else do this? I find I react the same way when waitstaff upsells appetizers. I just hate the idea of someone trying to "squeeze" as much money out of me as possible, on the assumption that I won't simply order something on my own accord...

  1. Upselling to offer a cocktail or wine? For many people it is customary to start their brunch off with a mimosa or bloody mary. Or for dinner to start with an aperitif or cocktail. Just because you don't doesn't mean it's upselling.

    Boy you showed them though by not ordering the beverage you really wanted!

    Not every server is out to get you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: thegforceny

      I don't know how badly I wanted a soda lol, it's just that when eating out I usually order one. At home though I drink water with my meals, not soda. Also, not everyone drinks alcohol and it can deter from the dining experience to be upsold on booze.

      1. re: olyolyy

        You're missing the point. It is not upselling. It is a normal offer within the dining experience. Did you read the other posters? No one agrees with you.

        How does it "deter from the dining experience?" All you have to say is "No thanks, soda please" Wow, your entire meal really is ruined by that utterance?

    2. First, the wait staff is at the mercy of management when upselling. It is mandated and if they don't do it, they can be reprimanded and eventually fired if they do not do it. If you have a problem with upselling, speak to management, but please do not take it out on the wait staff.

      Second, your example is not upselling at all; it is asking if someone would like "a cocktail or some wine." Upselling would be if the waiter asked you if you would like a Bacardi mojito or a glass of Robert Mondavi 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.

      To answer your question, upselling does not bother me. If I want something I order it; if I don't want something I say "no thank you" with a smile. Being snarky to wait staff is rude.

      4 Replies
        1. re: rockandroller1

          some restaurants have secret shoppers. if the waiters don't offer you a wine, cocktail, alcohol or bottled beverage of some sort, they lose points.

        2. re: ttoommyy

          I happen to know that Robert Mondavi 2009 Cab Sauvignon runs $135 a bottle, retail - so that's a heck of an upsell.

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            Hey, I was an EXCELLENT waiter in my day! lol

        3. I order what I want and politely decline anything I don't want.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters

            So simple and yet so easy.

            If I'm staying overnight, I order a bottle. If I'm driving, I order a glass. If I'm just thirsty, I order water. Gawd, we're all so jaded ;)

          2. I really don't find the offer of a cocktail obnoxious, so no, I guess not.

            1. I can't stand upselling, but what you describe is not upselling. It is as much upselling as asking what main course you'd like to have.