The 7 Tricks Restaurants Play to Separate You From Your Money
Menu engineering is used by restaurants to steer you to order high-profit items. Yahoo finance has collected a list of some common menu ploys:
- First in show. You are more likely to order the first item on a list in a given section of the menu (such as the "chicken" or "beef" section.) That's where many restaurants place the most profitable dish of that type.
- Menu Siberia. Unprofitable dishes, on the other hand, tend to get banished to a corner that's less noticeable.
- Visual aids. Many menus box off something they want to promote, because if you draw a line around it, people will order it. Photos also sell dishes.
- Package deals. Even if only a small percentage of the McDonald's customers spend some extra dollars on a meal package, that translates to millions in additional revenue.
- Dollar-sign avoidance. Some menus avoid dollar signs and decimals -- keeping money abstract makes spending less threatening.
- The small plate-large plate conundrum. A restaurant may offer two sizes of the same dish; that price differential is almost pure profit.
- Ingredient embroidery. If the menu makes each ingredient sound ultra-special, it will sell better; it may be the same dish you would get anywhere else, but you'll start to think you can only get it there.