A major food and beverage company in the travel industry is struggling with growth. After years of average margins, the executive team believed they had exhausted all options for organic growth and began to explore other options. Working with the top executives, we upgraded the current suggestive selling scheme. Instead of a standardized approach, we helped run a pilot project in selected locations, catering to segment preferences, giving customers what they wanted—and boosting sales.
Together with senior management, we designed and implemented a pilot project. The process involved four steps:
- Customer journey analysis: we selected various restaurants in key locations such as train stations, airport and service areas along the highways. Combining on-site visits with historical data, we mapped out the entire customer journey and identified key spots for suggestive selling to happen.
- Design the pilot: based on the preliminary study, we laid out a comprehensive plan to carry out the pilot. The pilot would be adjusted to the type of restaurants according to the customer preferences identified. We also defined several key variables to test, staff training programs and metrics to measure results.
- Implementation plan: Several airports, service areas and train stations are selected to run the 10-week pilot. The project is closely monitored by a designated team and the results analyzed on a weekly basis. A/B testing for food and beverage combinations and pricing was also in place for timely tweaking and feedback.
- Wide introduction of new suggestive selling scheme: based on the data gathered during the pilot study, we designed a detailed plan for the full rollout of the project with timeline and resources required clearly identified.
Thanks to the commitment of top executives of the company, the pilot study was a success:
- Staff acceptance: with carefully designed training programs, we managed to turn the staff’s mindset around to adapt to updated suggestive selling techniques very quickly. Once they see the tangible results of the new scheme, they became even more motivated.
- Client satisfaction: clients recognized the extra attention and effort, and showed interest in more flexible offerings adjusted to their needs.
- Sales results: the performance of the restaurants had been very positive. In three types of locations, the sales revenue increased by 29%, 69%, 19% respectively, without significant change in costs.