The Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Type, colour, currency symbols and vivid adjectives: all items to pay attention to when designing menus–but not for aesthetic reasons.

Subtle changes to menus can influence our restaurant decision-making, as is made obvious by Sarah Kershaw’s excellent article on the psychology of restaurant menus.

(If you’ve read the articles in my previous post on this topic there is little new information in this piece, but it is worth reading for the few tasty morsels that are new.)

Some restaurants use what researchers call decoys. For example, they may place a really expensive item at the top of the menu, so that other dishes look more reasonably priced; research shows that diners tend to order neither the most nor least expensive items, drifting toward the middle. Or restaurants might play up a profitable dish by using more appetizing adjectives and placing it next to a less profitable dish with less description so the contrast entices the diner to order the profitable dish. […] Dr. Wansink said that vivid adjectives can not only sway a customer’s choice but can also leave them more satisfied at the end of the meal than if they had eaten the same item without the descriptive labeling.

via @mocost