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Apr 19, 2011 09:01 AM

7 Ways Menus Make You Spend

Interesting article. I fit one/some of these scenarios :-))

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  1. Ha. When we're talking about what to order, my boyfriend, upon hearing what I've decided on, frequently says to me, "What? Where's that? I didn't see that dish on there."

    I will confess to usually wanting to try a 'signature dish'.

    1. that link is broken.

      My pet peeve is servers who rattle off the specials with full detail EXCEPT for the price. Generally the specials are several dollars more expensive than the printed menu items.

      Make 'em tell you how much each offering costs up front!

      1. Nice find. Link worked for me BTW.

        4 Replies
        1. re: chris2269

          Loved this article. I've been suspecting these rip off tactics for years with increasingly low cost ingredients (sweetbreads, organ meats, etc.) that are touted as "sophisticated and edgy," but really represent healthy profits for the restauranteur. Feel similarly about small plates too.

          Flame me if you must, but I've often wondered how many people really eat these more "creative" dishes. A friend-of-a-friend who owns the most upscale, popular Italian restaurant in my city confessed that the menu item he sells most of is the more mundane Spaghetti Lobster.

          1. re: 60s Girl

            Not a flame towards you at all but I love Sweetbreads, lamb fries, duck heart, whatever ...not because of the edge factor just because IMO they are great and its something I'm not going to cook at home.

            1. re: 60s Girl

              I'm with Chris2269, I love organ meats, sweet breads, etc. But i can't easily prepare those at home and the way they're presented in a restaurant. I'm happy to see those on a menu.

              I love small plates too since I like able to try a bunch of different dishes, rather than having one big entree. I'm not sure what relevance your anecdote about the spaghetti has. So a second hand info that a seafood pasta at a Italian restaurant is the most popular dish is hardly proof that no one orders those other dishes. In fact I've heard time and again that restaurants love putting on simple pasta dishes on the menu since that has the biggest profit margin.

              1. re: 60s Girl

                I'm with the others regarding the offal. I can cook a steak at home as well as most restaurants, but I wouldn't trust my skills as much with something more unusual like sweetbreads or testicles. Even if the dish cost less for ingredients, I'd be willing to pay more at a restaurant for an amazing preparation of it.

            2. It's all marketing. For example, most people won't want to eat dishes made of of leftover beef or pig scraps. But if you repackage them as hamburgers or sausages, it's a different story.

              1 Reply
              1. re: raytamsgv

                Half of a restaurant menu is repackaged stuff! Soups, especially, fried rice -- anything that you can't tell how fresh the stuff inside is.

              2. #6-The Small Plate-Large Plate Conundrum; definately my weak link. Salads, apps, desserts that come in two sizes...I know I'm out smarted no matter what I it better be super delicious!

                Not on the list-ordering a glass of wine not a bottle with the meal. What constitutes a glass (the amount of wine in the glass) sure varies alot....but not necessarily based on the type of wine ordered.