Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How to get restaurant customers to spend more.

From the New York Times:

Unless a restaurant wants to frighten its customers, the price should always be at the very end of a menu description and should not be in any way highlighted.

A study published in the spring by Dr. Kimes and other researchers at Cornell found that when the prices were given with dollar signs, customers spent less than when no dollar signs appeared.

The study, published in the Cornell Hospitality Report, also found that customers spent significantly more when the price was listed in numerals without dollar signs, as in "14.00" or "14," than when it included the word "dollar," as in "Fourteen dollars." Apparently even the word "dollar" can trigger what is known as "the pain of paying."

Mr. Meyer said that in his view, adding zeros to the price, as in 14.00, is not a good idea because "there's no reason to have pennies if you're not using pennies, and it takes the price from being two digits into four digits, even if the two last digits are zeros. It's irrelevant, and the number could feel more important, which is not a menu writer's goal."



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