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9 Ways Restaurants May Trick You Into Ordering?

Restaurants have some pretty sneaky ways to get you to eat certain foods, or certain amounts. Marketing specialists often develop menus, and they have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to entice you. 

What you order may have less to do with your appetite and more to do with how the options are presented. When something really grabs your attention, it is usually not because you are having a specific craving. This is important to know, especially when you are trying to make healthy choices, avoid temptations, and eat healthy portions. 

Here are some tricks restaurants use to get you to order:

  1. Wording that sounds delicious: The more detail, the more likely you are to notice an entry on a menu. “Sizzling Succulent Sirloin Steak” certainly sounds more appealing than “Sirloin Steak.” This is no accident, when items are described using colourful, tasty language.

  2. Perfect placement: Crafty menu designers know plenty of tricks when it comes to placement and presentation of meals. Using whole numbers (e.g., “16”) rather than dollar amounts (e.g., $16.00) sells better. They also know where to place the expensive menu items—at the top and bottom of the right hand columns. Surveys show that the worst spot for menu sales is the lower left corner of a menu.

  3. Courting you with beautiful visuals: Nobody can avoid looking at a beautiful picture of a tantalizing entrée or dessert. Menu items that have pictures accompanying them have much higher sales numbers.

  4. Creative fonts and colours: Items presented with bold fonts and unusual colours are going to catch your eye more often than the plain font.

  5. Avoiding the use of the word “healthy”: Believe it or not, this word usually cuts sales of restaurant entrees considerably. Using a low-key icon may work better, people find it less intrusive to their palates while still being attractive to their waistline or calorie count.

  6. They tell you what’s best: When you see notations on a menu like, “Chef’s Specialty” or “House Favourite,” you are going to be more likely to order the dish.

  7. Naming dishes after brands you recognize: Using name brands that are recognized as ingredients in dishes can help them sell more often. Think about reading that Jack Daniels is one of the ingredients in the barbecue sauce, sounds delicious!

  8. A hint of nostalgia: When a dish is named after “Grandma,” it is more likely to be popular. Any reference to family traditions can be a good thing when it comes to restaurant meals.

  9. Location, location, location: When certain foods are named according to a geographical region, they are going to become more attractive. “Deep South Jambalaya” or even the cliché “New England Clam Chowder” are going to be more enticing than regular versions.

Restaurants use many sneaky tricks to get you to buy certain dishes on the menu. When you know what you are up against, it gets easier to make healthy choices, consume realistic portion sizes, and stay in control when you are dining out.

SOURCES:; Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap /