What’s on the menu?

Having a delicious lunch on a terrace or enjoying tapas with friends; it is an understatement when I say that I like it. I admit, I belong to the group of people who have gone through the entire menu beforehand, because all those choices… However, the choice you finally make is not 100% yours. Restaurants can influence guests’ choices by simple tricks in their menus. Read some of those tricks below!


Restaurants prefer us to make choices based on the dishes and their ingredients. Nevertheless, we tend to look for the cheapest and prefer to compare all the prices. To make this more difficult for us, restaurants often use centered texts with the prices directly behind the text. This ensures that the prices are not exactly one below the other in vertical rows and are therefore less easy to compare.


Narrative descriptions of the dishes pay off. When a description is very extensive, people are more inclined to order a high priced dish. And the longer the description, the higher the chance will be that we will actually choose the dish. In addition, giving a name to a dish ensures that we attach a personal, friendly tone to it. Let’s face it, “Sara’s homemade Caesar salad” sounds more enticing than simply “Caesar salad”.

Layout of the menu

Frames and lines are often used to organize all the information on the menu. The use of many blank spaces ensures peace of mind. In addition, all kinds of graphic elements are used to make certain dishes stand out, for example by giving them a different frame color. The dishes set in remarkable graphic elements are probably the most exclusive and profitable dishes for restaurants. By displaying these so conspicuously, we are more inclined to choose them.

Rounded amounts

Rounded amounts are associated with a higher quality, the feeling of getting the most bang for your buck. In addition, rounded amounts look more elegant and leads to less distraction than amounts rounded to two decimals. Moreover, our brain finds it easier to process rounded amounts. This, in combination with an extremely expensive dish on the menu, makes it seem that the other dishes are suddenly very reasonably priced and thus that we will spend more.

No euro sign

There is a good chance that a euro sign will scare you off. The association we have with the sign, the “pain” associated with spending money, is softened when prices are displayed without euro signs. Research has also shown that people will spend more money on restaurants that do not use currency symbols in their menus.