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Behavioural science expert at Startle, James Picken, shared some of the tricks restaurants use to influence the customers’ dining experience making them spend more money.
Most people think they are in control of what they order, but the truth is that their dining experience is highly influenced from the moment they step inside the door.
James explained “offering you a booth” is one of the restaurants’ tactics to make people spend more.
He explained: “Restaurants are masters at duration control and making sure diners spend the perfect amount of time there to generate the most money as possible.
“Booth seating is becoming increasingly popular as they give you privacy on three sides.”
But why do people spend more?
James revealed seating in a booth “promotes relaxation and higher bills on spend per minute”.
Feeling relaxed and comfortable in a restaurant makes you want to stay longer and in order to extend the time at the venue, customers need to keep ordering food and drinks.
The expert explained people booths are the most popular tables at restaurants but warned that people who are seated there spend more than “diners sat at different types of tables”.
Financial technology company Zettle said that customers seated at booths have been found “to spend significantly more per person than those seated at other tables”.
“One advantage with booth seating is that it creates a sense of privacy which makes it the perfect seating for couples, close friends, business occasions etc.”
One way customers can avoid an expensive bill is to stick to the amount of food and drinks they were planning to order.
People can also try to stick to their budget and don’t feel pushed by the restaurant staff to keep ordering items from the menu.
Instead, customers could eat or drink slower to make the dining experience last longer.
Similarly, dimming the lights also make customers spend more, according to the expert.
This is another trick restaurants use: they “manipulate lighting at different times of day to create different vibes,” James said.
“And this can make you order more or less,” he revealed.
James explained: “According to a study, diners are 16-24 percent more likely to order healthy food (and less of it) in well-lit restaurants.
“This is because bright light heightens the senses and emotions.
“But once the lights go down, usually early evening, the ambience becomes more relaxed.
“And so do our food and drink choices.”
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