Healthy Beginnings

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:

1. 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.

2. Menu Siberia. Unprofitable dishes, on the other hand, tend to get banished to a corner that’s less noticeable.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Dollar-sign avoidance. Some menus avoid dollar signs and decimals — keeping money abstract makes spending less threatening.

6. The small plate-large plate conundrum. A restaurant may offer two sizes of the same dish; that price differential is almost pure profit.

7. 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.

Sources: Reprinted with permission

Dr. Mercola May 10, 2011