New York magazine breaks down the menu at Balthazar, with help from author William Poundstone, to show you how tricks of typography make a difference in what you choose to eat (and pay for).
Columns Are Killers According to Brandon O’Dell, one of the consultants Poundstone quotes in Priceless, it’s a big mistake to list prices in a straight column. “Customers will go down and choose from the cheapest items,” he says. At least the Balthazar menu doesn’t use leader dots to connect the dish to the price; that draws the diner’s gaze right to the numbers. Consultant Gregg Rapp tells clients to “omit dollar signs, decimal points, and cents?…?It’s not that customers can’t check prices, but most will follow whatever subtle cues are provided.”
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