You think you are going out for a nice meal and there is no funny business going on…think again! As marketers it is our instinct or even second nature to see how other businesses are using different marketing tactics to sell more.
Restaurants are no different and they are actually using deep psychology and Jedi tactics on their menus to get you to spend more money!
Here are some sneaky tricks that restaurants use on menus that we might want to pay attention to so we can use them in our businesses!
They don’t use dollar signs
I’m sure you are recalling the times you’ve seen menus with just numbers next to the food item. Putting a dollar sign reminds customers they are spending money. When you are going out to eat, you don’t want to think about money, you want to think about filling your tummy with yummy food!
Research from the Cornell University School of Hotel management states guests will spend significantly less when dollar signs appear on menus. Customers associate price with negative feelings.
Can you think of an instance in your business where you can test not putting dollar signs on your prices?
They use Descriptive Language
I love this because using descriptive language, especially in the internet marketing space draws more attention than using boring everyday language.
Research from the University of Illinois of Urbana Champaign says descriptive menu labels raised sales by a whopping 27%!
Words like “made by hand” “smothered in”, “a delicate balance of sweet and sour” and “a touch of dill” are some examples of descriptive language on menus.
Can you think of where you can add some descriptive language to your sales and marketing material?
The Incorporate Family
This is something that most of us can start using right away. Restaurants are finding that using family words pull on the heart strings of their customers and therefore they tend to make more sales! Phrases like “Grandmas Favorite Tuna Melt” and “Aunt Milly’s Famous Cole Slaw” seem to do the trick. Customers are drawn to relatives! Implement this one right away!
One Step Further…
Taking this one step further where you can’t really do on a restaurant menu is making your marketing and your stories and even descriptions relatable to customers. Adding stories about the busy mom and how she has to take the kids to soccer practice and put food on the table make you more relatable. How about dad’s long commute home but still wanting to throw the baseball with his son in the backyard before it gets dark.
They use Tricky Numbers
Internet marketers caught up with this a while ago. Using prices like $297 instead of $300 is a common practice.
Restaurants do this in a slightly different way. They want to take a friendly approach. Instead of using prices like 9.99, they use 9.95 and many times to keep it ultra friendly and simple they leave out the cents and keep it at 9.
Something to think about….
Photographs, Bold & Highlight Sell
Well duh! In our visual world, it is no surprise that incorporating pictures, bolding and highlighting words help sell!
Even More Sneaky Pricing Tricks
I love this one and this is something we can and SHOULD all do. If you go to a higher end restaurant, you will notice this tactic. They use expensive items to draw in “cheaper” items.
The strategy here is to have an expensive offer (or in this case plate) that is in the 3 digit range, like $115.00. After seeing an offer of $115.00 doesn’t it make the $75 offer (or meal) look even more appealing and not so bad? Sure, if they sell the $115 they are happy as pigs in a blanket, but the goal is to make the medium expensive items seem not expensive at all.
Incorporate a price or offer in your marketing where you know only a small amount of people will take advantage of which will make the less expensive (but perfectly priced) item the deal of the century!
This is another good one and also very relatable to selling online. We’ve all been to the diners and restaurants that have everything but the kitchen sink on their menu and especially when we don’t know what to eat, it could be very stressful picking out what we want to eat. Successful restaurants limit choices in their food selections. Sometimes giving customers too many choices is not the best way to go.
If you are trying to sell something online, try limiting the choices you give people. How many offers are you selling in one email or in one blog post? Even if the answer is 2, it might be overwhelming for your prospect. Make it simple and don’t confuse your customers because they might just leave without taking any action at all!
We can all learn form the sneaky marketing tactics that restaurants are using to get us to spend more money! Start putting this to use right away and see the results you get!
We want to hear from you!
=> Are there any tricks that you use in your business that gets people to spend more money? What are they?
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