Menus' 'Sweet Spots' Are Designed Wrong

Contributor

Historically, menus are designed with a "sweet spot" in the middle of the right side of the page, where customers supposedly look for a longer period of time, to entice diners to buy their highest-profit items. Unfortunately for owners, the Huffington Post reports that restaurants have misunderstood their customers for years.

A new study by San Francisco State suggests that on average, diners read menus like a book and don't linger longer over any particular location. San Francisco State researcher Sybil Yang instructed test subjects to wear an infrared scanner, read though a mock menu, and choose a full meal as if eating out.     There  THere

Surprisingly, Yang noticed a "sour spot" in the list of salads, where subjects focused the least amount of time (though salads just may not have interested mock diners). 

Regardless, proprietors are thrilled to have Yang's empirical research. Now, restaurant owners might focus less on menu design and psychology and more on the quality of food.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.