Menu Design Can Spoil Diners' Mood

NEW YORK: If you have ordered the wrong food at a restaurant, do not blame yourself. Curse the menu instead.

According to an interesting research, what you order may have less to do with what you want and more to do with a menu's layout and descriptions.

"When it comes to what you order for dinner, two things matter most: what you see on the menu and how you imagine it will taste," said lead researcher Brian Wansink from Cornell University.

The study analysed 217 menus and the selections of over 300 diners.

It revealed that any food item that attracts attention (with bold, highlighted or coloured font or set apart in a text box) makes us more likely to order that food item rather than the item listed next to it.

"In most cases, these are the least healthy items on the menu," noted Wansink, author of the book titled "Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life".

Also, menu names with descriptive items sell better and lead you to believe that they taste better.

The study found that diners were willing to pay an average of 12 percent more money for a menu item with a descriptive name.

The best solution to healthier restaurant dining may be an easy one: Just ask the waiter.

"Ask what are your two or three lighter entrees that get the most compliments? Or what's the best thing on the menu if a person wants a light dinner," Wansink suggested.

"It is one way menu design could help make diners slim by design," said the authors in a paper published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management.

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Source: IANS