June 16, 2006, 2:29 pm
Design Does Not Get More Hands On Than This
By Henry Woodbury
Remember subliminal advertising? A Time.com article on “menu engineer” Gregg Rapp details the totally visible design tricks a restaurant will use to steer patrons to higher profit selections:
The way prices are listed is very important. “This is the No. 1 thing that most restaurants get wrong,” he explains. “If all the prices are aligned on the right, then I can look down the list and order the cheapest thing.” It’s better to have the digits and dollar signs discreetly tagged on at the end of each food description. That way, the customer’s appetite for honey-glazed pork will be whetted before he sees its cost.
One ongoing difficulty in the design business is quantifying return. This is not so for Rapp:
Rapp is so sure of his menu makeovers that he offers a money-back guarantee that his menu will raise profits–and in his 25 years in the business, he has yet to issue a refund.
This will make me pay attention to menus. Also to overhead menu signs at fast food places.
Posted by louiskim on June 17, 2006 at 12:57 am
For a lot more on signs at fast food places, check out the book “Why We Buy” by Paco Underhill.
One example: McDonalds discovered that customers read absolutely nothing until they locate either the counter or the restroom. Once at the counter, customers read much more of the menu while waiting for their order than they do before placing their order.
I wonder if some restaurant diners are oblivious to the description of honey-glazed pork until they get to the price, and only then go back for the mouth-watering prose.
Posted by Mac McBurney on June 19, 2006 at 5:36 pm