At one point in life, you realize that people are not doing what you want them to do. Let’s take, for example, a cook, who slaves over a hot stove for hours, creating dishes that would astound most. But every day, customers order the cheapest meal, perhaps the pasta. This is problem might be solved with a few changes to the menu. Don’t believe it? A recent article featuring William Poundstone discussed what goes into effective menus.
5. Columns Are Killers
According to Brandon O’Dell, one of the consultants Poundstone quotes in Priceless, it’s a big mistake to list prices in a straight column. “Customers will go down and choose from the cheapest items,” he says. At least the Balthazar menu doesn’t use leader dots to connect the dish to the price; that draws the diner’s gaze right to the numbers. Consultant Gregg Rapp tells clients to “omit dollar signs, decimal points, and cents … It’s not that customers can’t check prices, but most will follow whatever subtle cues are provided.”