The Science of Menu Design
William Poundstone, author of Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) explains the techniques and tricks that restaurant menu designers use to draw people to the dishes with higher profit margins (stars) and downplay the popular but unprofitable items (plowhorses).
1. The Upper Right-Hand Corner
That’s the prime spot where diners’ eyes automatically go first. Balthazar uses it to highlight a tasteful, expensive pile of seafood. Generally, pictures of food are powerful motivators but also menu taboos—mostly because they’re used extensively in lowbrow chains like Chili’s and Applebee’s. This illustration “is as far as a restaurant of this caliber can go, and it’s used to draw attention to two of the most expensive orders,” Poundstone says.
Read the full article as he points out the remaining design & marketing techniques of menu design.