Take his flagship restaurant Polpo's menu. Share via Email Menu layout and descriptions are often designed to make customers buy high-profit items. Will I end up bitterly coveting my companion's dinner? And maybe the recent trend for tapas-style sharing plates has been so popular because it relieves the decision-making pressure if all your eggs are not in one basket. Most prefer weak, milky coffee. Slow music, and the scent of lavender, makes people spend longer in restaurants and pop music at dB will up the consumption of soft drinks. The eyes flit about like a pinball, pinging between set meal options, side dishes and today's specials.
And maybe the recent trend for tapas-style sharing plates has been so popular because it relieves the decision-making pressure if all your eggs are not in one basket. It's a similar story with wine. Set menus, or "bundles", meanwhile, seem like good value and therefore give us an excuse to eat and spend more. Is there a perfect amount of choice? Share via Email Menu layout and descriptions are often designed to make customers buy high-profit items. Judgement is clouded by aspiration, peer pressure and marketing messages. The burden of choice Perhaps this is part of the joy of a tasting or set menu — the removal of responsibility. Oh God, the waiter's coming over. Venetian dishes are printed on Italian butchers' paper, which goes with the distressed, rough-hewn feel of the place. The language of food The Oxford experimental psychologist Charles Spence has an upcoming review paper on the effect the name of a dish has on diners. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. We'll invariably go for the second cheapest. And when it comes to choosing food and drink, as an influential psychophysicist by the name of Howard Moskowitz once said: And if you eat at one of Russell Norman's Polpo group of restaurants in London, you will see almost no adjectives or boxes and other "flim-flam", as he calls it , and he's doing a roaring trade. Gut instinct, methodically weighed up pros and cons, eliminating items with unwanted ingredients? Vast menus make me particularly nervous in, say, gastropubs, where they scream: And Norman finds any mention of "chef's special sauce" offputting don't ask. Bournemouth University's new study has sought to answer this very question. I don't use a huge amount of Italian," he says, "but I occasionally use it so that customers say 'what is that? Will I end up bitterly coveting my companion's dinner? Rex Features It's not always easy trying to read a menu while hungry like the wolf, woozy from aperitif and exchanging pleasantries with a dining partner. Take his flagship restaurant Polpo's menu. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. A few years back, the author William Poundstone rather brilliantly annotated the menu from Balthazar in New York to reveal the marketing bells and whistles it uses to herd customers into parting with the maximum amount of cash. And how do you decide what to order? The links are powered by Skimlinks. However, Norman's menus employ their own, subtle techniques to reel diners in.
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