The Science of Menu Creation

I recently stumbled across an article in the New York Times that explains how restaurant chefs and owners meticulously create their menus in order to stimulate diners to spend more money. It’s a very interesting read and can be found here.

Here are some highlights of the article:

In the world of menu engineering and pricing, a dollar sign is pretty much the worst thing you can put on a menu, particularly at a high-end restaurant. Not only will it scream “Hello, you are about to spend money!” into a diner’s tender psyche, but it can feel aggressive and look tacky

Some restaurants use what researchers call decoys. For example, they may place a really expensive item at the top of the menu, so that other dishes look more reasonably priced

Or restaurants might play up a profitable dish by using more appetizing adjectives and placing it next to a less profitable dish with less description so the contrast entices the diner to order the profitable dish.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/dining/23menus.html

About Earl

Hi, my name is Earl. I am a student who loves to analyze food and eat healthy. My careful eye for food has caused me to become interested in the science behind food and cooking, and I write about my explorations into food on my website Toastable.com. While I believe in sticking to whole, natural foods, I'm not afraid to work with avant-garde ingredients and equipment such as constant temperature water baths and sodium alginate. I also love photography, technology, and journalism.

27. December 2009 von Earl
Categories: Molecular Gastronomy | Tags: , , | 1 comment

  • Phyusin

    Wow thanks. This just totally answered my long-on-going question on why restaurants in Georgetown doesn’t have the $ sign.