Upselling is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book. But, you may not even know how much harm it could be doing to you. You’ve likely gone to a restaurant to order food, only to get asked if you want something extra. A yummy dessert? A larger drink? How about a bigger portion of French fries? It happens just about everywhere because supervisors train employees to upsell. Companies get more money and you get more stuff. It’s a win-win for everyone, right? According to many experts, it could be a sneaky way to get you to consume even more unhealthy food.
The Unhealthiness of Upselling
According to the UK’s Royal Society of Public Health, 78% of people experience some form of upselling when they go to a restaurant. The Society also says that upselling can equate to an additional 17,000 extra calories consumed by one person every year. Some experts believe that upselling has a way of sneaking more food into our bodies without us realizing it. Instead, maybe we get so sold on getting more food for our dollar that we say yes to the upsell. Or, we just simply don’t want to say no.
Who’s Really to Blame?
Whether it’s a restaurant’s fault for obesity through upselling may be a bit of a stretch. Saying so implies that we have zero control over our thoughts and actions. For some, it may be difficult to pass up a large fry. Others can easily say “no” to the extra food. And some people may simply think, “Hm, that pie sounds good – sure, I’ll take it.” Blaming the restaurant employees for obesity because they’re doing their jobs to make more money? That sounds a bit drastic.
And, if you think about it, it’s not that sneaky. Upselling is quite noticeable because an employee asks you a direct question. It’s not as if they use some tricky language to get you to purchase more food. Most people expect upselling to happen when they go to a restaurant or order fast food. To say that it’s a “trick” puts the blame in the wrong hands. The consumer who agrees to the upsell makes a conscious decision to do so – and should take the blame along with it.