When Restaurant Menus Employ the Power of Suggestibility
Many menus are meticulously designed not to inform the customer but to influence him/her to spend more money. The secret is psychology.
What's the Latest?
Is your brain being tricked into seeing value on a menu where there isn't? As Bill Gephardt writes in The Utica Observer-Dispatch, there's a psychological aim in the specifics of menu design. Gephardt points to a Cornell study that found customers spend more when the menus they order from does not feature dollar signs in the prices:
Researchers believe patrons simply link the dollar sign to the pain of paying, so they're more likely to order cheaper options.
What's the Big Idea?
Gephardt provides other examples of the psychology in action on well-crafted menus. For instance, a price that ends in 95 cents appeals more than one that ends in 99 cents. Even though the difference is a measly four cents, the brain reacts much more openly to the former than the latter. Long and detailed descriptions of menu items are another way restaurateurs attract eyes to more expensive dishes. Finally, Gephardt confirms what so many of us probably already believe when we see a menu item so ridiculously expensive and think "who would choose that?" The answer? No one, usually. And that's the point:
Researchers say it's on the menu not because the restaurant really expects to sell many of those dishes — it's to make other items look like relative bargains.
Read more at the Utica Observer-Dispatch
Photo credit: Minerva Studio / Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.