Restaurants – the art of deception

Restaurants like any other business want to increase their sales. In my previous article, i had outlined the same about Supermarkets.

The ultimate objective for restaurants is to do sales of the items which are priced high and in general make customers eat more hence, make more money.

The first step is lightning and the decor of the restaurants. Nice dim lightning makes body comfortable, brain relaxed and hunger levels up.


The menu is meticulously designed to have more spacing between elements, currency symbols are removed, the item names are given artistic names e.g. “relinquished beef smoked burger with cheese”. According to studies, such colourful names can help in increasing sales up to 27%.


The most expensive items would be positioned in such a way that it will catch the first attention and give you illusion that its special offering. Also, don’t be surprised if the prices are 19.95 or 9.95 instead of 20 or 10 as it just looks and feels less!


The dishes in fine dining would mostly be big ceramic plates with food portion in middle giving illusion that you need to order more before even starting with the meal. This is called Delboeuf illusion.


The garnishing and decoration would simulate your sense in such manner that the taste factor will not matter to your brain as the visuals of the food already have created a niche.


The spoons, glasses and knifes would be shiny and tidy just to exploit on the sensation transference where we transfer the properties of the flatware or utensil to the food we eat from.


The subsequent orders will take some time to serve which is a deliberate attempt by the restaurant to make sure that the delay will help in enhancing your appetite.


Desserts are usually super expensive and low in portion size. The idea of eating something sweet / cold after hot meal is psychologically motivating and bigger dessert portion size will not result in higher marginal utility as consumers at that stage are already full, contented and the brain will not release any happy chemicals by looking at bigger portion size when full.



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