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How American restaurants make you order what suits them: 9 tricks

Studies show that what you order and how much you eat has little to do with appetite and is due to the powerful influence the restaurant menu has on you. Writes about it Reader's Digest.

Фото: Depositphotos

Professor Brian Wansink has revealed many of the fascinating strategies that restaurants use to fuel your interest in a particular dish. Learning these tricks and tactics can help you outwit the temptation the next time you come to a restaurant.

They use mouth-watering language

A simple description of the dish “Fried pork loin with whipped mashed potatoes” evokes appetite? This is intentional. In one study, it turned out: when the menu item was described in detail (for example, “Juicy Italian Seafood”, and not “Seafood”), its sales grew by 27%. This carefully crafted technique convinces you not only to buy a dish, but also to enjoy it more.

Restaurants use psychology when pricing

The menu does not use decimal fractions and dollar signs. An item labeled “14” will sell better than an item labeled “$ 14,00”. The more numbers, the higher the price, and the “$” sign and the word “dollars” draw attention to the price. Some menus also prefer not to align prices in a straight vertical line, so you have to read each dish and look at the tempting descriptions of dishes, rather than look for the least expensive option.

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In addition: the first section of the menu and the beginning of each subsequent section are the main places for expensive snacks, because that is where visitors usually look in the first place. Similarly, products placed above and below the columns have a 25% higher level of sales. Places that customers rarely look at are usually found in the lower left of the menu.

They play with fonts to get attention.

Studies show that people tend to read unusual fonts 42% more often than regular ones. If the product is in bold, most likely the restaurant will want to sell it more (for example, California Lobster will be highlighted more than Children's Mac'nCheese). Customers also pay more attention to dishes with a contrasting font, color or font size that stand out against the main background.

They make the picture perfect

The illustrations, icons, or photographs of dishes are provided for one reason - to induce an appetite. This is basic marketing: consumers pay more attention to illustrated ads. They also prefer color ads to black and white and look at color ads more often and for longer. The same applies to beautiful photographs, whether it's fried cheese with glazed onions or a chocolate dessert.

They tell you which is better

When you see words such as “Chef's recommendation”, “Traditional favorite” or “Home cooking”, the restaurant intentionally tells you that these dishes are popular, often they sell their more profitable products and distract you from orders that don’t help them make more money. This technique is especially popular in gourmet restaurants that refrain from more obvious tactics, such as large fonts or badges.

Restaurants advertise brands

Using brand names in the menu items inspires confidence and creates a certain guarantee for visitors that they will like the dish.

They shun “healthy” goods.

When goods are described as “healthy,” sales fall. The word suggests that the dish is less tasty or aromatic. Alternative methods that are less likely to have unpleasant consequences include the use of a pointer, for example, a small green badge with leaves, sometimes placed next to salads, or other healthy foods.

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Restaurants are trying to cause nostalgia.

Nostalgic names positively affect shopping habits, a dish called "grandmother's dumplings" will be bought more than just "dumplings." A reference to presumed or true family traditions and culture can evoke happy memories and a large number of orders.

They take location into account

Food and geography tend to blend in well with each other, and dishes that help create a visual image of a particular region can sell well, such as “Southwest Tex-Mex Salad,” “Georgia Peach Pie,” and “Pork Chops Iowa. "

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