The Increasing Consumption Effect of Restaurant Menus and Wait staff

Essay by dslslaveUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2007

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In an age where people all over the world are spending more of their income on dining outside of the home everywhere from fast food establishments to upscale expensive restaurants, the food choices offered and their presentation are becoming more and more important to the profits of the industry and the health of its patrons. The menu and waitstaff of a restaurant have a crucial effect on the choices made by consumers in both the items that they choose to buy and the resulting benefits or consequences to the health of their customers. A large element of psychology is present in how these menus are created based on colors, pictures, effects, descriptions, and even product placement within a menu – all of these factors tell consumers what the management wants them to buy and can either increase profit or drive it down based on specific choices of food presentation. Often times the offered selection provides little to no nutritional value and high amounts of fat and calories in terms of the food pyramid, more notably in fast food joints.

To counter this, recent healthy alternatives have become offered which allow for greater fulfillment of the food pyramid's recommendations and an overall healthier diet.

The menu helps direct customers in the right direction, and it is ultimately the servers who close the deal. Many offered restaurant choices include exclusive deals, daily or weekly specials, and "create your own" meal deals (for example, pick any three appetizers for a flat price) that make the consumer feel in control and that they are getting food their way. In reality, they end up eating and paying more for food than they would have in absence of such a deal. Waiters present the "soup of the day" or other such specials that make diners consider...