Columned vs. Nested Prices

Most menus at low-end restaurants feature prices in a right-hand column next to the food items. High-end restaurants that spend time researching pricing techniques, however, often use the ‘nested’ or ‘scattered’ pricing strategy, which entails putting prices right after the individual food items, compared to them being in one column. Why is this preferred? Researchers say that when you place prices in a column, diners will automatically scan the prices first and then look at the items corresponding to the lower prices. By removing the column, you make it difficult for them to directly scan the prices, so they are more likely to read the items and their descriptions first, and are in turn expected to be enticed by the food and not by the prices.

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