$ or Dollars: Effects of Menu-price Formats on Restaurant Checks

Contrary to expectations, guests given the numeral-only menu spent significantly more than those who received a menu with prices showing a dollar sign or those whose menus had prices written out in words. Psychological theory, by contrast, predicted that the scripted format would draw higher sales.

It’s interesting to note that affluent restaurateurs have probably been aware of this for years. Based solely on anecdotal evidence, currency symbols on the menu decrease as the average price increases.

Also, some of the priciest eateries eschew menu prices altogether. I like that approach. Remove the thought of money completely so you can fully enjoy your culinary adventure. Alas, my wallet is not as thrill-seeking as my appetite.

Check out the abstract or read the report [PDF].