The piece below is about the ‘tricks’ restaurants use to get us to spend more — tricks like inserting a more expensive item into your menu, just to make other items seem like a bargain. (Relatedly, see also “Manipulating Consumers With Prices that End in ‘.99′”) The key question for discussion: are these practices unethical? On one hand, consumer choice is supposed to be based on what consumers actually value. These tactics are effective in getting people to spend more without getting more of what they value. On the other hand, these tactics don’t involve any literal fraud or deception. They merely take advantage of quirks of human perception and failures of rational decision-making.
LINK: Menu science: The subtle ways restaurants get you to spend more (by Stephanie Bank for the Globe and Mail)
…The truth is, we all fall for these tricks regardless of intelligence. But getting some insight into how restaurants use menu engineering already puts you ahead of the curve. If increasing your awareness isn’t enough there are a few things you can try. Challenge yourself to look past the menu and decide what to eat based on the food rather than deceptive pricing, placement or seductive descriptions…
What do you think?