How restaurant menus trick you into spending more money

How Restaurants Use Menus to Trick You Into Spending Money
How Restaurants Use Menus to Trick You Into Spending Money

Going out to eat can be super expensive -- and that's exactly how some restaurants like it. There are actually a bunch of sneaky ways that a restaurant's menu tricks you into spending money.

1) They won't use dollar signs
Not all restaurants do this, but the ones that do are hoping it'll stop you from thinking about money. It may seem like a small thing that wouldn't mess with your wallet that much, but a study from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration shows people spent a lot more when they didn't see dollar signs.

2) Menu placement
Studies show that your eyes gravitate to the upper right corner of a menu, so that's where restaurants will usually put what is called "The Anchor," a ridiculously expensive item that makes everything else around it seem like a bargain in comparison.

On the other hand, the bottom left area is the last place you're likely to look, so that's where the cheaper dishes are -- usually burgers and sandwiches.

3) Fancy fonts
Some restaurants will single out dishes with boxes or fancy fonts. Even if you think the item seems pricey at first, you might think it's worth it because it's highlighted.

4) Strategic wording
Restaurants will try to catch your attention by being as descriptive as possible. For instance, does "bacon mac and cheese" sound like it's worth $12? Probably not, but "blended four cheese truffle macaroni and cheese with applewood smoked bacon" probably does. (Actually, bacon mac and cheese always sounds amazing so maybe that was a bad example.)

Have you fallen for any of these tricks? Ever notice any other sneaky little tactics? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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