Dining out occasionally is okay even when you are following a budget. Just make sure you protect yourself from the techniques that restaurants use to get you to spend more than you want. Following are clever ways menus are written to influence your choices and siphon your money away.
- Adding mouth-watering descriptions
Dishes with descriptions sell up to 30% more than those that lack it. Entrees are made to sound irresistible regardless of their cost. Meat cuts are “tender” or “falling of the bone” to encourage you to pay extra.
- Pairing dishes with stunning photos
Featured items often come with color photographs to engage diners. Who would not be drawn to luscious melted cheese on a burger? Of course, you could expect these items to be costlier, too.
- Using price decoys
Did you know that some items on the menu are not meant for you to order? They are just there to make other dishes look cheaper by comparison. If one entree is listed at $40 and another at $30, you are likely to get the latter, which often has the larger profit margin.
- Removing dollar signs
Studies show that guests order more when they use menus without dollar signs compared to people who ordered from menus with prices that included the dollar signs. It is the subtle details that trick the brain!
- Complicating comparison of dishes
Most restaurants avoid creating menus that make it easy for you to compare the cost of meals. Of course, you will shop by price so menus are written in a way that makes you focus on the food and not on the cost of the item.
- Having a short menu
A menu with too many items can confuse diners and lead them to order the cheapest things on the menu. As such, restaurants adjust by simply offering fewer choices to avoid customers getting overwhelmed.
- Cleaning well
A sparkling clean restaurant attracts customers and wins their confidence, not only on the place but also on the menu. You will probably walk out if you are handed a menu filled with stains, right?