5 Mind Tricks That Restaurants Employ To Make You Spend

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There are important things to consider while designing a new restaurant’s interior and its minor details such as the menu. One thing is for sure – you are building a business to boost your income. You may consider employing these Psychological tricks to help your sales.


What I told you that you can entice your customers to spend more with minor alterations? Yes, it is possible! Simply drop the dollar signs found on your menu. Customers become more aware of their spending when they are bombarded with currency indicators (i.e., $ or S$).

Research suggests that customers who were given a menu without “$” significantly spent more than those who received a menu with currency indicators in them. You may write out the price in words too (e.g., ten dollars). These techniques reduce the negative feelings associated with paying.


The Asian culture puts a great value on the closeness of family. Most of us work to aid our family members’ expenses. Restaurant owners and managers can use this unified value to their advantage by tailoring their brand.

You may either put the “names” of the relatives on the menu or on the establishment. Having “grandma’s soup” or “uncle’s supreme burger” on the menu can add a hint of nostalgia. While, you can name your establishment something similar to Papa John’s Pizza or Auntie Anne’s.


Whenever you are out to eat, you see wonderful colors that vary from the lightest to the darkest shades. It is no secret that colors can impact one’s spending. The sight of it automatically stimulates you and increases your memories, color-motivated behaviors, and social influences. For instance, green is associated with nature and other elicit relaxing feelings. It is used by cafes that want people to sit down for a long time. Just take a cue from Starbucks!

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From the logos to the interior, two colors seem to stay at almost every fast food chains. These two colors are red and yellow. Red and yellow stimulate appetite, which probably explains why your stomach starts to make noises as soon as you see the yellow arches or the red logo. You cannot resist spending more inside!


Previous research showed that customers scan through a menu and focus their attentions on the main course. With this in mind, you may influence the fixation of their eyes. Put the expensive dishes on the first page. People are likely to order the first few items that they are drawn to. You may add colorful pictures to tempt your customers with the dishes’ delectable flavors.

This technique works because of the Primacy Effect. Primacy Effect, in Psychology, is the tendency for the first items (presented in a series) to be remembered better than the rest. Another reason why this is effective is the utter comparison between the expensive dishes and the rest of the menu. The succeeding dishes seem to be reasonably priced compared to the aforementioned. People will pay more for good deals!


The beauty premium is the idea that attractive individuals receive higher salaries compared to the other side of the spectrum deemed as the “ugliness penalty”. Physical appearance is crucial to boosting a restaurant’s sales too. Having attractive fonts can add an irresistible tone to your menu and branding.

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You can highlight dishes using different colors or fancier fonts. The addition of pizzazz to the visual presentation increases its perceived specialty. However, high-end restaurants tend to avoid this technique. They tend to stick to minimalism as they do not want to appear “tasteless”.

Sources:  1,2 &3

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