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Guide to Upselling for Coffee Retailers

Guide to Upselling for Coffee Retailers

If you are in the business of selling coffee, we don’t need to tell you- your customers are your business. Many businesses spend lots of time creating strategies to attract new customers – promotions, offers, seasonal menus and so on. But equally important is ensuring that you maximise every sale from every customer that walks through the door. Every business knows that it takes a good deal more effort and expense to generate new customers than it does to sell to existing ones!

To maximise the benefit here, you will need to understand how much profit you make on each item you sell currently- particularly if you are going to encourage a customer to swap out a lower profit item for a higher one! We are going to discuss two different methods of expanding your transaction value here – the upsell and the cross sell- and we will give you ideas for both. Simply put, a cross sell is where you sell a customer an additional item and an upsell is where a customer upgrades their original purchase for one of higher value. Great retailers know that to boost the value of every transaction, you can and should do both!

luxury hot chocolate with marshmallows

Upsell Ideas


Offer your customers the opportunity to upgrade their usual coffee for a Single Origin or premium bean.The customer gets a unique coffee experience and you can realistically charge a 30p premium on each drink

Offer your customers an extra shot! Can you imagine how many extra portions of French fries McDonalds sell each year by asking ‘do you want fries with that?’

Offer a syrup shot – it is normal practice to charge for extra shots of syrup. Your customer can enjoy a delicious flavoured coffee whilst you can look to make an additional 20 – 30p per drink.

Offer alternative milks. Many high street coffee retailers now offer coconut, almond and soya milk. Not only will this cater to a wider customer base, but you can look to charge a surcharge for the alternative milk. This is a simple thing to do that can be adopted by coffee retailers large and small.

Offer a premium or luxury hot chocolate. A Belgian hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, grated chocolate, a flake and sauce will retail considerably higher than a regular hot chocolate. For a relatively low outlay, you can charge considerably more for your luxury hot chocolate.

Ask your customers if they would be interested in a frappe. They’re typically the highest priced drink on the coffee menu and one of the highest margin drinks. If you offer frappe in your outlet, let your customers know about it and give them the opportunity to upgrade their usual coffee for something perhaps more exciting.

blueberry muffin

Cross Sell Ideas


Offer mineral water. Not only does water cleanse the palate but the customer can take it with them to consume later.

Offer cakes, slices and biscuits. Caffeine and sugar combined are the ultimate pick me up! Many of us like a little something sweet on the side of the saucer and often don’t take much convincing! Make sure you feature both indulgent and light treats in your selection so that there is something to tempt all taste buds.

Don’t neglect savoury. This one is particularly relevant if you sell sandwiches and lunch options; be sure to sell crisps and nuts. We Brits consume 60 million packets of crisps every week, so you’ll probably want to make them available to your customers too.

Offer take home items. You’ve probably noticed that lots of high street coffee chains now offer small, retail packs of their coffee- some even offer tins. These not only give customers to enjoy their favourite coffee blend at home but serve as souvenirs of their visit to your outlet. This might not be appropriate for every business but is certainly worth speaking to your coffee supplier about. Liquidline can offer small, retail bags of coffee as well as display stands to promote them!


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