Don’t Be Fooled By Tricks Restaurants Use to Get You to Spend More

Service Sector Index, Including Restaurant Industry, Posts Large Declines

Dining at a restaurant is a luxury to most of us – a luxury that many of us tend to take for granted. Eating establishments have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to garnering patrons and getting them (er, us) to open up our wallets freely. We often pay for drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike), appetizers, entrees and desserts, even when having a three-course meal is not the norm at home. Then, there is also the matter of tax and tip. Considering all of the charges we rack up at one sit-down meal in a restaurant, you’d think that’s all there is to it, right? Wrong!

Here are five tricks restaurants use to get you to spend more:

1. They don’t use dollar signs. Restaurants will do this so it doesn’t highlight that you are actually spending your hard-earned money.

2. They have two sizes you can order from. Customers don’t really know how much smaller the smaller size is, so they will automatically assume it’s the better deal because it costs less. Most of the time, the restaurant actually just wants to sell the smaller one and just uses the bigger portion as a price comparison.

3. They highlight items. If you make things in bold or place a border around them, people are more likely to buy them or at least pay attention to them. People will order it, which is why items with photos do so well.

4. They use ethnic food terms in order to make their food more authentic. Apparently it catches the customer’s eye to see a certain feature in a dish as well as a specific taste and textures.

5. They place the more profitable items first. People are more likely to get the first thing on a list (say, in the Chicken or Beef sections) so restaurants will place their more profitable items there. Likewise, the unprofitable dishes tend to get placed somewhere not as noticeable.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


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