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To sign or not to sign?

Many caterers know that menu design can be critical in boosting sales, especially of more profitable items which you can place in certain areas on the menu to catch customers’ eyes and strongly ‘suggest’ they buy that particular dish.

Examples are the ‘Z’ pattern layout where readers start at the top left of the page, move horizontally to the top right and then diagonally to the bottom left before finishing with another horizontal movement to the bottom right. A skilled menu designer would place the most important information along the pattern’s path.

But here’s something else to consider. A study conducted at St Andrew’s, the restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York, examined how customers reacted to menus’ price formatting in terms of actual sales, as measured by check totals for lunch. Price formats were dollars and cents with sign ($6.75); a numerical format without dollar sign (6.75) or scripted (six dollars seventy five).

Contrary to expectations, guests given the numeral-only menu spent significantly more than those who received a menu with prices showing a dollar sign or those whose menus had prices written out in words.

Some British restaurants are already doing it, check out the menus at top London eateries Bistrotheque www.bistrotheque.com and Grain Store www.grainstore.com for great examples.

Posted by on: April 23rd, 2014