What is the psychology of menu design?

Written by Azza Hawash

What is the psychology of menu design?

menu design

The psychology of menu design is the study that restaurants adopt, based on principles in psychology, in addition to designing the menu in a way that affects the customer’s psychology.

This would be based on Wells’ absurd studies, including color theory and its effect on humans. As well as choosing angles and using influential words carefully, all of this achieves your restaurant’s goal of increasing sales.

Factors affecting customer psychology in menu design:

Factors that affect customer psychology to make him prefer to buy certain items, for example, or prefer your restaurant over other restaurants:

The effect of colors on menu design

The colors on the menu affect what you order. So the green color indicates that the food is fresh. Orange stimulates appetite more. Yellow is the color of joy and is used to draw attention to dinner. Red also encourages action and convinces you to buy meals with higher profit margins.

Golden triangle in menu design

When you look at a menu, you usually look at the center first before moving to the top right corner, and then eventually to the top left. This was called the “Golden Triangle”, and in these three corners, you will find dishes that are more expensive than others…

Nourishing and stimulating the imagination

Restaurants pay close attention to how each meal description is written. Descriptions like “best burger in the world” cannot be true, and diners will ignore them. However, attractive adjectives, such as: “handmade” or “natural or homemade”, will fuel the imagination more…

Unconscious planning

You often and subconsciously order the top two items in each section of the menu. So restaurateurs tend to list the highest-margin dishes first. However, some tend to choose the lower option. So the last item in each section is usually the third most expensive dish in the restaurant.

Remove currency symbol

Removing currency signs from the menu to take the focus away from the cost of dishes is a worthwhile idea. Also writing prices in letters can encourage spending up to 30% more.

Cost control

No matter how tempting each dish is. Diners still take price into account. Restaurants use this to their advantage. For example: A meal priced at SAR 40.95 makes you feel like you got a good deal. Restaurants and cafes tend to use approximate numbers, which adds an air of elegant sophistication.

Limited options

Long menus may seem tempting to offer more varieties. But that is not in the restaurant’s interest.


No two disagree on the importance and impact of storytelling on the reader and recipient. So the biggest restaurants use storytelling to describe their higher-margin dishes to increase their sales.

Luxurious materials in menu design

Luxurious and luxurious restaurants tend to use luxurious and high-quality paper, so that even if the customer touches it and feels the quality and luxury of the material from which it is made. This conveys to him the message that the restaurant is luxurious and its dishes are also at the same level. Thus, the game is at the level of the sense of touch.

Use a sense of scarcity

The client does not like to miss out on anything, in general. Therefore, making a dish available for a specific period makes him try it during his visit and not postpone it. This allows you to provide dishes of high quality and cost that are available in specific seasons and not on a daily basis.

The rule of reciprocity

People tend to reward others when they offer them something for free. This can be used to provide free appetizers or drinks. This will make the customer ask for an additional meal to reward you for your generosity and generosity, and this will positively affect your sales over time.


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