Eating out is a treat for most people, but for restaurants it’s a daily business. They know more about your ordering behaviour than you do — and they use their wisdom to get you paying more. But not anymore! Check out the 11 tips below and follow the advice from Quid Corner to get ahead of their tricks.
1. They put higher-profit items in boxes
Menu design is a real science. Designers know that putting a slightly pricier item in a box means your eye is drawn to it first, and it seems like it must be special.
2. They reference family in the names of dishes
Descriptive menus increase sales by 27%. You’re more likely to buy food that’s prefixed with “Grandma’s” or “Uncle X’s”. The effect inspires nostalgia and trust.
3. They use meaningless size descriptions
Dishes can be described as ‘half’ and ‘full’. ‘Half’ portions usually cost more than half, making the ‘full’ version seem like a bargain.
4.They hide good value items in the lower left area of the menu
This type of menu psychology was introduced by Albin Seaberg in his book, “Menu Design”. You tend to ignore the bottom left corner, so that’s where they tuck less profitable dishes.
5. They dazzle you with an unfeasibly expensive dish
Experts say the main reason for including a 3-digit dish on the menu is to make everything else seem more affordable.
6.They play classical music
Research from the University of Leicester has shown that you are likely to pay more when a restaurant plays music, particularly if it’s classical – which makes you feel more affluent.
7. The waiter tells you the specials
When non-menu items are described by the waiter you are more likely to order without asking the price.
It’s lovely to eat out now and then, but being ripped off can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Wise up to the sneaky tips restaurants use, and enjoy good value with your food.