This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Nuts and Bolts: menus.

What will you have?

If this question is asked in a restaurant then a lot of time will have been spent scretly nsteering you towards giving the 'right' answer. The restaurateur will want you to make the 'choice' which gives him the highest profit (or, you never know, perhaps he'll want you to have the most delicious item on the menu so you'll go back again).

So how does a restaurateur influence a diner's choice?

Well, he (or she, or they) will turn to Menu Psychology (yes, it's really a thing).

The rules are these:

make the dish you want to sell

a) one of the first few items on the menu (I read everything, but most people don't) or the last (some people read up from the bottom);

b) put it in a coloured or shaded box;

c) put it at the top left, top right, or centre of the menu;

d) put in one very expensive item to make the rest look good value;

e) have about seven items in each category so people don't panic at the amount of choice;

f) tuck the prices close in beside the description so it's not so easy to read down a line of prices before looking at the description of the food;

g) have detailed descriptions of the food to make people prepared to pay more for it. Each extra letter adds perceived value (this seems to have been discovered in a Cornell study, but I haven't been able to track it down).

****

Does all this careful psychology work?

Well, probably not quite so well, now, will it?

Word To Use Today: menu. This word comes from the French word describing a small, detailed thing (practically always a list). Before that the word comes from the Latin minūtus, which means minute (that's minute as in small, not as in a length of time, though these two words are connected).


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