Restaurants are very good at manipulating people like us into spending more money than we want or intended to spend. Menu prices have risen all across the country due to the expense of raw materials as a consequence of Brexit’s weaker pound. Here’s how avoid spending more money than you need when eating out:
Restaurants tend to use language on the menu that makes their dishes to entice us. Phrases like ‘hand-selected’ and ‘slow-cooked’ are bound to get your taste buds excited and for no other reason than to attract more customers to the most expensive dishes. Focus on the dish, disregarding the flamboyant language.
No £ sign? No problem.
Having a pound (or currency) symbol plastered all over a menu is bad for business. Why? It reminds you that you are spending money. As soon as you realise you’ll be spending your hard earned cash, you’ll subconsciously make your decision based on the price of each dish.
Skip the specials
Special dishes are called ‘special’ for one reason: to capture the attention of the consumer. Have you noticed that the special board or position on the menu captures your eye with its fancy, colourful font? What is special according to the restaurant, are really just overpriced dishes.
Favourable dish sizes
These days, most dishes can be bought in two portion sizes: half and full. Often, the half portion will cost more in regards to its size, to make the full portion appear to be a better deal. Without knowing how large the full version is, the customer will go ahead and order it regardless because to them, their getting the best value for money, right? Wrong. The overpriced half portion is on the menu so you can compare it against the full version and you guessed it… order the bigger version.
Value for money
If you’re looking for a dish that offers good value for money, look no further than the bottom left hand corner of the menu. With careful analysis, restaurants have identified the reading patterns of consumers. The more ‘expensive’ dishes can be found in the upper right hand, because that’s where we tend to look first. The bottom left corner is often overlooked, so we miss out – on purpose.
Ever noticed that buffets tend to start off with salad and bread? There’s a valid reason behind it. Whilst you fill your plate up with low-cost cuisine, by the time you reach the important stuff (i.e. meat) your plate will already be full. So unless you go back for seconds, you’ll be paying for more than you’ve eaten.
Eating out doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. Understanding the tricks used on a menu can cost you as less as eating at home. Whether you eat out for a treat now and again or regularly visit a restaurant, these basic tips can help you save up to half of what you’d usually spend per visit.
Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.