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A bit of menu magic

Menu engineering techniques boost sales of high profit menu items.  Here are two techniques always lead to higher profits.

Page positioning

There have been many studies on how a person's eyes move across a printed page — menus included. They don't read front to back, or top to bottom. Instead, eyes follow a predictable pattern of movement in search of a place to rest — something of significance or of visual interest like a graphic or a splash of color. Graphic designers and advertisers know this and lay out their most important messages using this pattern.

By placing your highest profit menu items into this "path" you'll have a greater chance of selling those items. Below are the paths the eyes would most likely follow on single-, two- and three-panel menus:

Price point justification

As we said, people don't read menus. Instead of taking in our carefully crafted menu descriptions or tantalizing ingredients, they rely on a faster and simpler way to choose their meal. Unfortunately this often includes price shopping.

When menu prices are lined up to the right of a column of items, your guest can easily scan the menu for something that isn't necessarily the cheapest, but doesn't fall into the high-end category either. By tucking those prices in at the end of an item's description, you allow the guest to be influenced by the item's position on the page, signature icon, or other menu design or engineering technique.

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