What do dollar signs, anchors and bacon have in common? They’re all tactics used to make food truck menus more enticing to prospective customers, of course. The bottom line is the bottom line: You want diners buying food. And you’re lucky; before your diners even decide what they’re going to order, you’re putting an advertisement in front of them, in the form of a menu or menu board.
Here are the top 6 tips of menu psychology that will lead your food truck customers to order what you want them to:
Don’t Use $$$
This is menu psych 101: DO NOT use dollar signs ($$$) on your food truck menu. We’ll repeat that if you missed it, do not use dollar signs on your food truck menus or menu board. It forces diners to focus on the price of the dish rather than on the dishes themselves. Is your menu a list of prices or of meals? We’re hoping the latter.
One of the best ways to compare numbers is to have them all lined up. So give your diners a break and get them focusing on the food and not the price. Columns force your diners to compare the prices of all your dishes, making them weed out the most expensive rather than focus on the most delicious. However, pricing all your entrees around the same can be a good tactic to prove to your patrons that you are a fairly priced eatery.
Adjectives, Adjectives, Adjectives
While using simpler copy is certainly a trend, the words you do use must be precise. In a recent New York Times article, Dr Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, found that descriptive labels on menu items increases sales by as much as 27 percent. Phrases like “Coddled Duck Egg” spark interest in diners while “Welfleet Oyster” gives a sense of place in an industry that is now obsessed with knowing where food comes from.
Bracketing is for the same-dish-that-comes-in-two-different-sizes trick. The two sizes prompt the diner to feel a bit worried that the smaller portion might not be enough and reassure them that for less than double the price, they can get twice the amount of food. Deal, right? Well, sort of. If a diner doesn’t eat the extra food and doesn’t take it home to finish, then, both the food and the diner’s money are wasted. However, if you’re the food truck owner, you just made close to double the profit off of that sale, simply by having two sizes.
The Upper Right Hand Corner
Just as with newspapers, the upper right hand corner of a menu is prime real estate. This is the first place a diner’s eyes go. Putting something especially enticing there is a good call.
The Enhancer: Bacon
If your pork dish is listed just as a pork dish, chances are customers would glance over it and keep moving to the next item. However, when that pork loin is bacon-wrapped, everything changes. Bacon is still a buzzword for many food truck diners. They always seem to be enticed to see what the tasty, salted pig-part has been paired with this time.
Do you have other tips that have been successful for you and your food truck’s menu board? If so, please feel free to share you thoughts in the comment section below.