Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Menu secrets that can make you slim by design

Date:
July 29, 2014
Source:
Cornell Food & Brand Lab
Summary:
If you've ever ordered the wrong food at a restaurant, don't blame yourself; blame the menu. What you order may have less to do with what you want and more to do with a menu's layout and descriptions.

Sample menu with examples.
Credit: Image courtesy of Cornell Food & Brand Lab

If you've ever ordered the wrong food at a restaurant, don't blame yourself; blame the menu. What you order may have less to do with what you want and more to do with a menu's layout and descriptions.

After analyzing 217 menus and the selections of over 300 diners, the Cornell study published this month in the International Journal of Hospitality Management showed that when it comes to what you order for dinner, two things matter most: what you see on the menu and how you imagine it will taste.

First, any food item that attracts attention (with bold, hightlighted or colored font or set apart in a text box) makes us more likely to order that food item rather than the item listed next to it. "In most cases, these are the least healthy items on the menu," said lead author, Brian Wansink, author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.

Second, menu names with descriptive items sell better and lead you to believe that they taste better. The researchers cite a study where they changed the names of restaurant menu items to make them more descriptive; the seafood filet became Succulent Italian Seafood Filet and red beans and rice became Cajun Red Beans and Rice. Sales of these items went up by 28% and they were rated as tastier, even though the recipe was identical. Diners were also willing to pay an average of 12% more money for a menu item with a descriptive name.

The best solution to healthier restaurant dining may be an easy one. "Just ask your server," says Wansink, "Ask 'What are your two or three lighter entrιes that get the most compliments?' or 'What's the best thing on the menu if a person wants a light dinner?'"

Importantly, Wansink and co-author Katie Love point out that restaurants can also use these two tactics -- catching attention and priming imagination to guide diners to buy healthier high margin items. It's one way menu design could help make diners slim by design.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell Food & Brand Lab. The original article was written by Brian Wansink. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brian Wansink, Katie Love. Slim by design: Menu strategies for promoting high-margin, healthy foods. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 2014; 42: 137 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhm.2014.06.006

Cite This Page:

Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "Menu secrets that can make you slim by design." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729123840.htm>.
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. (2014, July 29). Menu secrets that can make you slim by design. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729123840.htm
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "Menu secrets that can make you slim by design." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729123840.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins