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5 Restaurant Techniques that Encourage People into Buying Something

Want to know how you can get people to spend more when they come to dine at your establishment? Here are five surefire techniques:

1) Use a sense of scarcity

When people feel like they might miss out on something, they're more likely to act. So try using words and phrases like "limited time only," "while supplies last," or "one day only."You can also use scarcity when it comes to your menu items. If you have a dish that's only available for a limited time, people will be more likely to order it while it's still available. Scarcity can also work on a larger scale. If you're running a promotion for a holiday or special event, make sure to let your customers know that it's only happening for a limited time. This way, they'll be more likely to take advantage of it while they still can.‍

2) The affect heuristic

This is a mental shortcut that allows people to make decisions based on their emotions. So if you can tap into people's positive emotions, you're more likely to get them to say yes to your offer. One way to do this is by using what's known as the "halo effect." This is when people associate positive traits with someone or something. For example, if you have a celebrity endorsement for your restaurant, people will automatically assume that your food is good because the celebrity wouldn't endorse it if it wasn't.‍

Another way to use the affect heuristic is by framing your offer in a positive way. For example, if you're trying to get people to buy a new menu item, you could say something like, "Try our new dish! It's sure to tantalize your taste buds." Framing your offer in a positive way is more likely to get people to say yes.‍

Therefore, the affect heuristic can have a powerful influence on decisions both large and small.

3) The reciprocity rule

This is the idea that if you give something to someone, they'll feel obligated or inclined to do something in return for you. This is often used by restaurant owners in order to encourage customers to purchase more food. For example, a restaurant may offer a free appetizer for customers who order an entree and drink. The goal of this is to get customers to purchase an additional dish even if they wouldn't have otherwise. It's a subtle advantage that will end up turning into many more!‍

4) The loss aversion principle

This is the idea that we are more sensitive to losses than gains and will do anything in order to avoid them- even if it means making a purchase. For example, a restaurant may advertise that they're giving away free dessert for customers who dine there. This is done to encourage them into purchasing an additional dish because they don't want to miss out on the dessert.

5) The sunk-cost bias

This is the idea that people are more likely to spend money on things they've already invested in, even if it's not the best option. For example, a restaurant may offer customers a "buy one entree and get another for free" deal- but only if they purchase both meals at the same time. This is done to encourage them into purchasing an additional dish that they may not have otherwise ordered.‍

Source: Pamela Romano, Wisk