*This post was published in 2009 and I wanted to bring it back with a few updates and tweaks*

Did you know that diners spend an average of 109 seconds looking at a menu?

I know that when I go to a restaurant I love looking at a menu and seeing what is offered from drinks to appetizers, to entree’s and of course to my favorite desserts!

While I was reading The Food Network Magazine, I came across an article written by Beth Shapouri which I found quite informative and I knew I needed to share it with you all.


Restaurant Menus are designed to make you eat lots and spend more.

Try and catch some of these sneaky tips the next time you dine out… You’ll be amazed at what you will notice now!


The dollar symbol is missing next to each menu item for a reason: That one little character ($) reminds you that you’re spending money.  When one restaurant in 2008, a study that was conducted at Cornell University, left dollar signs off the menu the average check went up $5.55.


Menus typically show prices right after dish descriptions rather than in a column.  Why? So you won’t go looking for a cheaper dish.  If you see a chicken entree for $17, the restaurant doesn’t want you to notice that the chicken tenders two lines down are $3 cheaper.

“Kevin Moll, CEO of Denver’s National Restaurant Consultants, says staggering the prices on a menu leads to a 10-percent increase in sales.”


If you’ve ever had to memorize vocabulary in school for a test, you know the first and last words are the easiest to remember.  The same goes for menus.  Restaurants often put the highest- profit items at the top and bottom of each section- and those dishes sell 25 percent better than the ones in the middle.  Regardless of price, they probably aren’t the best value.


“Bold typefaces are instant attention grabbers designed to lure you to big-ticket items,” says Dave Pavesic, Professor of Hospitality Management at Georgia State University.  He says that this tactic increases sales up to 10 percent.


Elaborate descriptions, particularly those that trigger nostalgia, can boost sales by 27 percent, according to Cornell University researchers.

So what did you think about that??? Let me know if any of you knew this before or even noticed some menus who used these techniques.

Let’s gather and see which restaurants are!