Overview magazines

Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The menu is one of the most important tools of any restaurant. It’s your business card, your storefront window, and your full focus moment of contact with your guests. But how can you make a menu that communicates effectively? These are the most important lessons science can give you.

The odds of someone selecting a dish increase when that dish is made to stand out. For example, by using a different font or using a frame for highlighting. 

Source: Cornell University Food and Brand Lab

Guests are apparently willing to pay 12% more on average for dishes that are extensively described. Words like ‘juicy’, ‘crispy’, and ‘fresh’ add actual value to a dish.

Source: American Association for 
Consumer Research

Leaving out the dollar sign increases the average spend by 8.15%. A dollar sign indicates a payment, and payments register in the same region of your brain as pain stimuli. The principle that spending money causes more pain that receiving pleasure from the thing you spent it on is called Loss Aversion. 

Source: San Francisco State University

Research indicates that a guest only looks at a menu for 109 seconds on average.  That makes it important to place the highest margin items on the menu spots with the highest visibility.

Source: San Francisco State University

A large font size is associated with expensive products. This makes emphasizing the price during a sale a terribly ineffective practice.

Source: Stern school 
of business, NYU

While there isn’t a single place on a menu that gets the most attention, there is one that gets the least: the bottom left corner.

Source: San Francisco State University

This effect is based on the fact that when looking at things in sequence, our memory is best at storing the parts that don’t make sense. You can replicate this on a menu. Guests tend to pick the dishes that deviate from the others, whether in flavor, ingredients, or by simply using a more noticable font.

Kids don’t buy into the fact healthy food can taste good. If something on the menu is clearly labeled as healthy it can’t be anything but yuck. 

Source: Chicago Booth School
of Business

Legendary Dutch foodservice millionaire Gerrit Valk once famously said: “If I want to sell more tomato soup, I’ll put lobster soup on the menu.” The higher relative price of the lobster soup (the red herring) makes the tomato soup (the real goal) considerably more attractive. More on this Decoy Marketing can be found in professor Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational.

  3 min

Joost Scholten  Wouter Noordijk

Menu lessons according to science

Research

The menu is one of the most important tools of any restaurant. It’s your business card, your storefront window, and your full focus moment of contact with your guests. But how can you make a menu that communicates effectively? These are the most important lessons science can give you.

Joost Scholten  Wouter Noordijk

The odds of someone selecting a dish increase when that dish is made to stand out. For example, by using a different font or using a frame for highlighting. 

Source: Cornell University Food and Brand Lab

Guests are apparently willing to pay 12% more on average for dishes that are extensively described. Words like ‘juicy’, ‘crispy’, and ‘fresh’ add actual value to a dish.

Source: American Association for 
Consumer Research

Leaving out the dollar sign increases the average spend by 8.15%. A dollar sign indicates a payment, and payments register in the same region of your brain as pain stimuli. The principle that spending money causes more pain that receiving pleasure from the thing you spent it on is called Loss Aversion. 

Source: San Francisco State University

Research indicates that a guest only looks at a menu for 109 seconds on average.  That makes it important to place the highest margin items on the menu spots with the highest visibility.

Source: San Francisco State University

A large font size is associated with expensive products. This makes emphasizing the price during a sale a terribly ineffective practice.

Source: Stern school 
of business, NYU

While there isn’t a single place on a menu that gets the most attention, there is one that gets the least: the bottom left corner.

Source: San Francisco State University

This effect is based on the fact that when looking at things in sequence, our memory is best at storing the parts that don’t make sense. You can replicate this on a menu. Guests tend to pick the dishes that deviate from the others, whether in flavor, ingredients, or by simply using a more noticable font.

Kids don’t buy into the fact healthy food can taste good. If something on the menu is clearly labeled as healthy it can’t be anything but yuck. 

Source: Chicago Booth School
of Business

Legendary Dutch foodservice millionaire Gerrit Valk once famously said: “If I want to sell more tomato soup, I’ll put lobster soup on the menu.” The higher relative price of the lobster soup (the red herring) makes the tomato soup (the real goal) considerably more attractive. More on this Decoy Marketing can be found in professor Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational.