Dining out on days when you want to eat something special, eating in restaurants might sound like a good option. However, there are ways wherein things like menu psychology can play a big role in making you spend more or eat more in restaurants. If you’re very portion conscious at home and you don’t want to overeat, we’ve come up with a simple list that can help you regulate your eating and spending.
All The Zeros
Even if it’s just removing the extra 0’s on the menu prices, it really makes a difference in how we perceive spending in restaurants. From $13.00 to $13, the menu has its magic on us. The less we think that there’s so much 0’s that’s going to cost us, (regardless of the REAL amount) it’s bound to make us feel like we’re spending less even though we’re not. It’s not just zeros, too. Did you notice that some items would have .99 cents in them to make them look like they’re cheaper? Some would even go for .89 to make that illusion. Others would even remove the $ sign to make us not think of the fact that we’re spending $$$’s.
Colors For The Hungry
Most of you probably know this already, but colors like red, orange and yellow are proven to make you feel hungrier. (McDonald’s and KFC? We know what you’re doing.) The more we feel hungry, the more we’re likely to eat more. However, not all restaurants use this to urge you to eat, so it’s better to just stay away from those restaurants that have warm colors in their interior. Cooler hues like blue, green and purple can do the opposite and suppress your hunger instead.
Pricey or Bargain?
Just in case you didn’t notice, the priciest dishes are located at the top of the menu, in order to make the rest look like a bargain. Even with two expensive dishes next to each other that only has a few dollar differences, you’re likely to assume that the other is cheaper and is a better deal, even though it’s not! Keep in mind that they also keep their portion sizes vague. Remember the well-known advertising trick about food photography: Menu photos look really appetizing and bigger in portions than the actual. Everything looks so chunky and well-plated. If that’s not enough to trick you; half-sizes are more expensive than the full-size because of the small portion size you’re getting, compared to what it’s worth. Unless you’ve been dining there repeatedly, then they’re purposely leaving you clueless about how much food you’re actually ordering, causing you to overeat. Also, take note that menu engineers (Yes, they do exist!) also put the dishes they want you to order the most in the mid and upper right corner of the menu. It’s not always because they’re the best choice.
Skip this. Alcohol can temporarily impair your body’s ability to feel full. In short, it will make you feel hungrier and you’ll end up ordering more. Plus, the alcoholic beverages aren’t free, so you’re up for an obvious bill hike whenever you’ll accept everytime the waiter keeps the drinks coming. And one more thing, people are likely to purchase the second least expensive wine, instead of the least expensive wine to avoid looking cheap. The problem is, the second least expensive wine is usually priced higher than it’s worth!
For more psychological ways on how restaurants trick you to spending and eating more, here’s a video link: