How Menus Trick You Into Spending More

How Menus Trick You Into Spending More
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How Menus Trick You Into Spending More

Read on to discover how restaurant menus are tricking you into spending more money.

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According to a recent study by Cornell University, when names of restaurant menu items were changed, sales rose by 28% and were rated as tasting better than the previously described dishes (even though the same recipes were used.)

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Not only did sales rise, but according to MarketWatch, restaurant goers were willing to spend around 12% more for their food if the item had a more exotic name.

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So which terms really caught customers' eyes? Words like succulent. In the study, a seafood filet had its name changed to "succulent Italian seafood filet" and red beans and rice turned into "Cajun red beans and rice."

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Other aspects of the menu that make customers order certain items include bold, highlighted or colored font. If something is labeled as a "house favorite," it's also more likely to be ordered. According to one of the study's authors, Brian Wansink, these are usually the least healthy dishes you can order.

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Another trick? Placing the higher priced items where you're going to see them. The top right or bottom left corners are usually where these menu items are, according to MarketWatch.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Ever find yourself enjoying a meal out at a restaurant, only to find that when the check hits the table you've racked up a bill way higher than you'd ever intended? It turns out, there may be a tricky reason behind that.

According to a new study by Cornell University, restaurants are trying to make you spend more with the names and descriptions they put on their menus. The study found that menu items with descriptive names actually sell better, and they make you believe they'll taste better too. In the study, when certain words were added to menu items to make them sound more exotic, customers were more likely to buy them—and they even rated them as tasting better.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more details on how menus are tricking you into spending more.

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