SEP 24, 2018 12:35 PM PDT

Restaurants use psychology to make you spend more money

Have you ever gone out to a restaurant and ended up ordering way more than you expected to, only to get the bill at the end of dinner and be totally blindsided? That's because restaurants use specific psychological tricks to get customers to order more items and more more-expensive items. For instance, have you ever noticed how many menus don't list a dollar sign ($$$) next to the prices on the menus? Restaurants don't just do that because it looks nice. According to several studies, people actually tend to pay less attention to the prices of an item when it is just listed as Crab cakes: 15 instead of Crab Cakes: $15. Have you ever fallen for that trick? 

Another trick that restaurants utilize is that of the flowery adjective. After all, who wants to order a plain old hamburger when the Southwest Chili Burger is on the menu? French fries anyone? Well, wouldn't you rather have Fried curly cheese crisps?

By far the biggest psychological tricks that restaurants take advantage of have to do with the size and shapes of the plates and glassware you're eating and drinking from. The Delboeuf Illusion, which is when two identical circles look different because of the size of the circles around them, and the Horizontal-Vertical Illusion, which is when vertical lines seem longer than horizontal lines, are classic tricks that restaurants employ on the dinner table. Want to learn how it works? Watch the video to find out more!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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