Upselling Master Class: How to Cultivate Lifetime Customers

Restaurant and business owners tend to make the same fatal mistake: they fail to recognize the potential value of each individual customer. In need of revenue, owners chase new acquisitions rather than developing their relationships with the customers they already have.

In the latest episode of Breakthrough, host Paul Barron explains how implementing a comprehensive upselling strategy can transform your business and increase your revenue. He also chats with Dana Krug, the vice president and general manager of food and beverage for Phononic—check out a deep dive of that interview here.

“You won’t be able to say ‘here’s a new product’ without having earned that right,” says Barron. “It’s all about getting inside the customer’s head and creating perceived value.” He recommends reading Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by market research expert Paco Underhill. First published in 1999, the book’s exploration of neuroscience and consumer behavior remains relevant for business owners today.

To succeed, upselling has to be built into your brand and designed to meet the needs of your existing customers. The new, higher-priced products also need to be relevant and thoughtfully implemented with insight and expertise.

Winery, restaurant, and lifestyle brand Cooper’s Hawk is one such upselling success story. Recently acquired by Ares Management for an extraordinary $700 million, Cooper’s Hawk built upselling into their business model with a wine club that now boasts over 400,000 members. As Barron notes, Cooper’s Hawk has “created a way to upsell to their guests 24/7.”

“Their wine program changed the game on how they were communicating to their guests,” adds Barron. “They’ve created a relevancy to [their customers’] daily lives.”

Visual cues, rather than a person pushing a new product, are also key. You want your customer to feel as though they are making the choice for themselves rather than having the decision forced upon them. Upselling takes time, and potentially multiple visits from a customer—repetitive business creates trust.

“If you’re not relevant at the right time and place, you lose the opportunity for the upsell,” adds Barron. “You’ll have to start rebuilding the chess game to get back to the point of being relevant to your customer.”

Check out the video above to learn more about the secret to the success of Cooper’s Hawk and the importance of guided products, placement, and messaging!

Phononic Debuts a Mobile, Sustainable Merchandising Freezer

Current refrigeration and freezing technologies—largely consisting of compressors—have been in use for over a hundred years. However, compressors have a number of sustainability concerns and are typically limited to placement in the back of a store, restaurant, or bar.

Dana Krug, the vice president and general manager of food and beverage for Phononic, aims to change that. Phononic crafts products that use earth-friendly semiconductor chips for solid-state cooling. The refrigerant that Phononic uses is solely composed of water and low pressure carbon dioxide. And this past year, the company released the Phononic F200, a revolutionary merchandising freezer.

“The power consumption is low enough that you can run four of these off of a single breaker,” says Krug. “And it doesn’t take much room on the counter. If I want to have this in a quick serve restaurant, check out lane, or right next to the register, I can do that.”

The branding—composed of magnets and decals—on the Phononic F200 can also be changed in under a minute, allowing for easy rebranding for a new product launch.

One of Phononic’s most successful brand engagements has been with Coolhaus, a women-founded and -led company in the premium ice cream space. “Coolhaus has been one of our best lifting brands so far,” notes Krug.

The Phononic F200 is currently in use in grocery stores, bakeries, bars, restaurants, and a number of mass merchants, and is available in eight different countries through its partnership with Unilever. Krug adds that while he cannot yet say the company’s name, Phononic has also recently partnered with one of the largest compressor companies in the world.

According to Krug, Phononic is currently eyeing mobile delivery possibilities. “You have the ability to move [the Phononic F200] from place to place,” says Krug. “If you want to deliver Coolhaus to your front door, there’s a mechanism.”

Check out the video above to learn more about the technological processes behind the Phononic F200 and what else is ahead for the company.

Produced by:

Paul Barron

Paul Barron

Editor-in-Chief/Executive Producer


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The Sylvester Brings a Non-Alcoholic Buzz to Miami

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In today’s overcrowded food and beverage market, bar owners often struggle to make their bar unique. And in South Florida, competition is fierce. New bars and restaurants open and close every day, and the only way to stay afloat is to offer high quality products that are truly different.

The Sylvester, located in the heart of Miami, aims to do exactly that. This season of REACH explores the unique stories behind the making of emerging and successful food and beverage businesses in South Florida. The Sylvester was just established this year, and is already making a name for itself in the city.

Ben Potts, the bar director for The Sylvester, co-founded the joint with Chef Brian Nasajon after quitting a “miserable” job in investment banking.

“I quit my job without having a plan,” says Potts. His goal was to craft drinks that were truly innovative. “Non-alcoholic beverages are what we’re trying to push and highlight.”

In addition to typical alcoholic drinks, The Sylvester offers kombucha, an extensive coffee list, tea, and wellness water and cocktails infused with CBD. There are even a few mushroom elixirs on the menu.

“We’re trying to push the envelope from a cocktail perspective,” adds Potts. The goal, for him, is to allow customers to “reap the benefits of a medicinal product in a food and beverage setting.”

The bar is designed to look nostalgic and “very distinctly” Miami. With vintage wallpaper, retro stylings, and a wide selection of board games, the place immediately feels welcoming and familial.

Check out the full episode to learn more about the bar and some of the recipes behind the unique drinks available at The Sylvester!

Denver Chef Infuses Classic Seared Alaska Halibut with Thai Flavors

Throughout the world, people rely on the ocean for sustenance and survival. Sustainability practices in harvesting are essential for ensuring the future quality and continuity of seafood. And rapidly evolving technology possibilities are making sustainability a much simpler and more attainable goal.

For its second season, Foodable’s Smart Kitchen & Bar has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to feature chefs who are passionate about sustainable seafood sourcing practices. These chefs share why they love seafood, explain how they select responsible seafood purveyors, and showcase innovative, fish-focused recipes.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On-Demand.

The largest type of flatfish, Alaska Halibut is equal parts simple and elegant with a unique, flaky texture and a mild, sweet flavor. Alaska is the largest provider of domestic halibut in the United States, and all wild Alaska fisheries harvest responsibly and sustainably.

In the clip above, Chef Jennifer Jasinski shares her Thai-infused mango Alaska dungeness crab salad and seared Alaska halibut recipe with host Paul Barron. Jasinski's unique recipe pairs halibut and dungeness crab with coconut crusted risotto. As you can see in the video, the dungeness crab that was used is classified as "ugly crab," which simply means it has a less attractive shell (barnacles, discoloration, war wounds), but it is just as safe and delicious to eat as a crab with an attractive-looking shell.

Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Chef Jasinski has always loved the ocean and the diversity of fish it offers. After traveling for over a decade with Wolfgang Puck Food Company, she put down roots in Denver and currently owns five acclaimed restaurants in the city under the group name Crafted Concepts. One of her latest restaurants, Stoic & Genuine, opened in 2014 and features fresh-from-the-water seafood.

Check out the full episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On-Demand to learn more about sustainable seafood practices and Jasinski’s philosophy on leaving no scraps behind.

Sous Vide Alaska Pollock Cooked to Perfection

Originally kept to the domain of professional chefs, sous vide is becoming an increasingly popular cooking method in the average American home. The sous vide cooking method typically consists of vacuum-sealing your choice of food in a bag, cooking it in a bath of water in a glass container, and potentially broiling or searing the food further for a crispier flavor.

For the second season of Smart Kitchen & Bar, Foodable has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to spotlight chefs who actively practice sustainable seafood sourcing. These chefs share why they love seafood, explain how they select responsible seafood vendors, and showcase cutting-edge, fish-focused recipes.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On Demand.

Wild Alaska pollock makes for a versatile, flaky, and delicious dish. Alaska pollock is the largest sustainable fishery in the world and is caught in its natural habitat and processed at-sea or on shore. It has a mild cod-like taste and delicate texture prized by chefs from around the world.

In the clip above, Chef Jennifer Booker shares her sous vide Alaska pollock recipe with host Paul Barron. The delicious recipe features a variety of flavorful ingredients including saffron rice, sautéed spinach, garlic, and tomato.

Booker is a personal chef, cookbook author, culinary educator, and business owner based in Atlanta. She also currently serves as an Executive Chef for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Her culinary company, Your Resident Gourmet, provides in-house cooking, catering, party planning, menu development, and cooking classes. Booker loves seafood, and encourages her clients to rethink the unhealthy stereotypes of southern cuisine.

Check out the full episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On Demand to learn more about southern agriculture and finding fresh, healthy, sustainable seafood.