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How Restaurants Trick You Into Spending More Money

How Restaurants Trick You Into Spending More Money


Everyone knows that eating out costs more
than cooking your meals at home, but restaurants employ all kinds of tricks to milk even more
money out of their customers. From the design of the menu to the choices
on the wine list, your visit to a restaurant has been carefully orchestrated to make you
feel good about parting with your hard-earned cash. It may even have you coming back next week
for a chance to do it again. Upselling When you’re ordering your meal, restaurants
have all kinds of ways to upsell your choices. If you’re ordering a vodka drink, your server
may ask if you want it with Grey Goose. If you choose a steak and baked potato, your
server might ask if you want to add a lobster tail, or make your baked potato fully loaded. It’s about making the experience better for
the guests while slowly increasing the bill. “They said ‘Market Price’… What market are you shopping at?” Server incentives Anyone who’s worked in the restaurant industry
is familiar with server incentives. Owners and management will incentivize the
servers to super-sell a particular item. The server who sells the most of the item
during that shift can win a prize, which may just be cold hard cash. That’s enough motivation for most servers
to try to talk you into a dish that you may not particularly want. If a server is a little bit too enthusiastic
about the chicken and artichoke special or a new microbrew, it might be the incentive
item of the night. Smaller portions You may not have even noticed it, but according
to The Guardian, the plates at your favorite restaurant may be shrinking. On a smaller plate, it still looks like you
have a lot of food, but the resulting smaller portions will make you more likely to order
multiple plates or add on desserts. Savvy servers will likely even recommend a
minimum number of plates to share for your group. Cha-ching. Instant refill If you’ve ordered a bottle of wine or premium
water for the table, you may notice how excellent the service seems to be when it comes to constantly
making sure you have a full glass. Yes, this does mean that your server is a
seasoned pro, but maybe not quite for the reason you think. The server’s goal is to have that bottle finished
by the time you’re barely halfway done with your entree. What are you gonna do, finish out the rest
of the meal with nothing to sip on? Of course not. Nine times out of ten, you’ll go for that
second bottle, or at least another glass. The same rule works with cocktails and beers. Servers notice when your glass is about a
quarter full so they can have a fresh drink in front of you by the time you’re polishing
off that last sip. “Surprise!” Surcharge surprise Even if you know exactly how much your meal
costs, you may still get a shock when the check arrives. That’s because restaurants often add surcharges
that boost the total bill. In cities that have raised the minimum wages
for restaurant workers, proprietors might tack a minimum wage surcharge onto a customer’s
total. But those aren’t the only surcharges to watch
for. Restaurants in most states are legally allowed
to charge you up to 4 percent extra on your bill if you’re paying with a credit card,
as long as they make the policy clear on the menu or your server tells you. Sides aren’t included If you’re accustomed to dining at upscale
steakhouses, you’re probably used to this policy. Steakhouses rarely accompany their prime cuts
of meat with a side dish. Along with your $50 ribeye, you’ll be expected
to cough up another $10 for a baked potato. This practice could easily trickle over to
other styles of restaurants, so you may want to ask specifically what’s included with your
entree. Engineered menus There’s an entire industry dedicated to engineering
restaurant menus in a way that prompts you to spend the most bucks on your dining experience. Some of the most common tricks are the absence
of dollar signs in pricing and the use of ethnic food terms to make items seem more
authentic. “I’ll have the Thai chicken pizza.” “Hey look, if I get it without the nuts and
leeks and stuff, is it cheaper?” Restaurant menus may even highlight or bold
the font of an item they wish to push. Super pricey dishes are sometimes decoy items,
placed on the menu to make the rest of the prices seem more reasonable. Even the eye movements of people reading menus
have been analyzed so menu engineers can guide your eyes to the dishes with the highest profit
margins. Desserts Even if you don’t usually order dessert, you
may have been roped in by some of the dessert-selling tricks that occur in many restaurants. Some restaurants instruct their staff to leave
the dessert menu on the table without asking customers if they want to see it first. When the dessert menu is dropped in arm’s
reach or standing on the side of the table the entire meal, most people can’t help but
pick it up to take a peek. And if you’re still hungry from those smaller
portions, dessert can be awfully tempting. “Smells chocolatey, ay? Now… eat it!” Wine psychology We already know that alcohol is the highest
markup in a restaurant, so it should be no surprise that the wine you buy at a restaurant
costs you far more than you’d pay for the same bottle at the grocery store. In fact, one glass of wine might cost you
more than the restaurant paid for the entire bottle. What you may not know, however, is that the
restaurant understands the psychology of those ordering the wine. People will rarely order the cheapest bottle
on a wine list for fear of seeming cheap. So the second cheapest bottle on the menu,
the one many customers opt for, is usually the worst value. The cheapest bottle is often a better deal,
especially in restaurants with carefully curated lists. Most of us can’t tell the difference anyway. “Is it red or white?” “Red.” Thanks for watching! Click the Mashed icon to subscribe to our
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  • My cuzins restaurant did the same thing to me ! Nice guy-we( wife n me) bought two meals, two drinks-$90 bucks, my dinner was steak the size of a golf ball AND TWO POUNDS OF MASHED POTATOES! Of course, he went out of business….. u can’t skimp on food…

  • Alcohol at restaurants are some of the biggest mark up scams out there. 2-3 cocktails can easily end up costing more than your entree meal.

  • I've spent more than a decade in the service industry, I can tell you that NO ONE is wanting you race to finish a bottle of wine. That's ridiculous.

  • Most of the restaurants I go to immediately take up the dessert menu when they collect the regular menu. I’ve always thought that was stupid. How the hell do you know what’s on the menu if they take it. 🤔🙄

  • Its not tricking tho of you don't wanna spend money then dont go out to eat lol when I go out to eat I already know I'm gonna spend money don't be cheap.

  • I eat out once a week and it's at a local diner where the meal is an average of $9.95. I drink water.

  • Servers will hate you but I always look at the menu online beforehand, pick out one main dish I want, and order only that and a glass of water. No appetizers, no wine, no dessert, no drinks — no shock when they bring the check.

  • I make a point of not eating out that often, but when I do, I know what I want and rarely deviate from that.
    I get it that restaurants have to make money to survive, but I minimize what they are going to get out of me.

  • I got a $60 steak at Wolfgang’s once. It was worth it just to try it once in your life. Had a $300 bill that night. Never going to order a steak ever again because nothing will beat that.

  • I really don't get this recent trend into being upset about ppl upselling… And trying to get you spend more..

    If a server asks you if you want add lobster to your steak.. Its just a question. There is nothing wrong with this. Ig i don't eat at restaurants often, I usually grill at home, but when I do go out, i like to eat properly, and I do enjoy the service offering me sides or extras. Especially when I don't eat at a certain place often and am unfamiliar with Thier menu

  • It's 8:20pm I had a nice meal for tea, I'm not hungry but my stomach saw this video and now it's saying
    "Hey you want a steak? I know "I" want a steak, why don't we have a steak.
    One for me and one for you…..and then for desert……"

  • my life motto is always tip the taxi and waiters at least 25%.

    $10 extra dollars is what, just another beer or two? But it would mean the world to your waiter. I would rather not eat or drink so much but leave a bigger tip to make someone's day

    Same with taxi. Very few people tip their taxi drivers

  • I love eating out. The wife wished we did it more often. At least I think that's what she meant

  • And People say, People why Gamble waste and give there money away, Ha! Indont see a difference with going to RESTURANTS, BARS, CLUBS

  • Yeah soooooo true. l remember going to Outback Steakhouse back in the day and being stuffed "to the gills" now l leave still hungry and have stopped going. Prices have increased while portion size has way decreased.

  • All chains and a lot of Mom & Pop's are always trying to clip you for the extra dollar or 10. There doesn't seem to be any shame to it either.

  • Me: maybe I ought to know
    Mind: okay, let's get ready to forget useless info
    Me: hmmm… It didn't sound so bad so far…
    Mind: okay, what's next. I don't want to wait forever.
    Me: wait. WAIT a second. I can't have a side with my goddam ribeye steak without being charged? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!
    Brother: what the hell are you crying about?!
    Mind: oh no he noticed
    Me: why the hell do you need to know? Tell me. Explain. Come on.

  • the fact that there's an extra charge for a credit card is a really good thing and I wish more restaurants would do this. I'd much rather decide for myself whether I want to pay that 4%, rather than always having to pay for it no matter what.

  • u know this bitch narrating this video has spent an eternity working as a server before finding out making youtube is better money

  • I lived in various countries in Europe but only in the US did I noticed that 1) most restaurants don't have a "several courses menu", instead billing each plate the price of a 2 or 3 courses menu ($18-$25); 2) there is no dessert included in the main menu and if I don't ask for it, the server often doesn't brings it; and 3) the server brings the bill without me asking for it, and without asking me if I want something else. So my experience in American restaurants (New York, San Francisco, Kentucky) is overall a lot lower than in Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium).

  • This is why, when you go to Red Lobster, eat all the Cheddar Baked Biscuits you can, take the actual meal home, win, win situation.

  • If u going to an extra ‘dry’ dirty martini, of course u would request grey goose , stoli’s, Tito’s , Chopin, etc. Or any upper shelf vodka. Who goes to a good dinner and orders shit vodka in a martini 🍸 🍸🍸?

  • When you eat at a prixe fix restaurant, you don't have to worry about what comes with the meal or not. It's all spelled out for you.

    Of course, the downside (to some people) is that prixe fix meals tend to be expensive. Some people say that the portions are too small but neglect to factor in the quantity of dishes that come out.

    Also, if they really are looking to pig out then obviously prixe fix isn't really meant for them. Those people can go on down to the Golden Corral and be content that they won't ever run out of food.

  • all ik is when i go out to eat its mcdonalds and that maybe 4 times a year but their shit went up.. no dollor menu shit made me not go their anymore

  • This whole tipping crap is nothing but a ripoff, so is the dam sales tax.

    Why should I pay a tax to eat? Didn't my check just get taxed before I cased it :o/

    Tipping- why do I need to pay more because I spent more? I got the same service at the guy who ordered a Hamburger with fries and a drink :o/

    Steak houses aren't even giving you prime meat anymore :o/ they are serving choice, that is why lately the steaks tastes like crap.

    I don't always stay home, I do go out to eat, but only to places I can take my food to go, eat it out in the park or picnic table.

    Fook our ripoff tipping service.

    When I realize how much extra I have to pay to eat out, besides the meal itself, I stay home. The hell with our greedy Government taxing the crap out of us, even when we eat, WTF?

  • My favorite wine is a white moscato specifically castello preggo and is $13.95 at walmart and other liquor stores for $15 yet $22.50 at olive garden or $31.35 at my favorite steakhouse

  • Most servers are stupid and entitled. I’d rather cook at home. After all, I just remodeled my kitchen. I want to enjoy it….No long wait, dumb servers, or getting shafted for food that wasn’t even that good.

  • Having worked in a wine retail the prices for bottles at a restaurant is about 4 times its price so customers swear its not the bottle they had last night lmao

  • Yeah the smaller portion thing is acutally not even a huge deal. A good percentage of customers are probably watching their weight nowadays and will consider it to be fair enough. Also, a big thing for restaurants is managing costs so, you cant always serve like a huge portions for the same price. It sounds cheap and shitty, but it's just how they run the business to keep up appearances. If the quality is good, people arent going to mind, Ive never left a restaurant hungry and my family usually gets to-go's.

    Hell I used to watch Kitchen Nightmares and one of the things Ramsey would bring up is that a lot of the struggling restaurants weren't managing their portions, and it was creating waste, not just in the sense of wasted food if people didnt finish, but it minimized margins in an already razor-thin-profit industry.

  • You do realize the economy would crumble if no one made a fucking profit off anything? Understand that upselling is how most make a living, and those who believe that we shouldn't are obviously pro-Liberal, because upselling and reselling is apparently not necessary, watch how our economy crumbles if we ever get back to a pro-liberal government.

  • This stuff is all common knowledge and common sense. You kinda deserve to be taken advantage of if you fall for the ol' "Yeah, you're gonna need a new engine in less than a week" gag when you go in for an oil change lol.

  • I pretty much avoid most restaurants. The food is generally over priced, not much better then what I can make myself at home, and I abhor having to supplement the income of the staff via tips because the owner is to greedycheap to actually pay the staff.

  • Other tactic to save money and gonna get hate look up tipping laws and don't tip cause I don't believe in tipping and before people say shit I've done every job in restaurant cook dishwasher host busser and server and I still won't tip unless they really damn good and can do a better job serving than me if a chef who took the time to make the meal doesn't get any of the tip I don't think it's worth it because sorry servers but cooks job harder longer and more thankless all u did was an order carry a plate and pick dishes up pay them a salary not tip that shouldn't be a thing and you try to tip someone in Japan you have just insulted them tipping is American invention that should be rid off

  • The only thing that irritates me is when they don't put the drink prices on the menu. They know i'm gonnna drink either way, and once I have one, i'll have two, but it's really annoying that most of the time I don't know how much i'm spending.

    GTFO with those $12 drafts

  • I have heard many restaurant owners commenting on how the booze they serve comprises half the profits the restaurant makes. Many make around 30% profit from alcohol but some fine dining establishments make up to 80% of their profits on drinks. Gordon Ramsay once “comped” £400 of food on the basis that the five dining bankers had spent £44,000 on wine. That’s 1% for the food.
    Drink ice tea (or water or hot tea or coffee) at least when dining out and save yourself a lot of money (and calories). When I would go out to bars or clubs with my friends, we would buy cheap booze at the store and shotgun it in the parking lot before going in and paying the outrageous prices inside.

  • yeah this video is bullshit. unless you have a 6 figure job everyone researches the place they're going too to see if the prices are something they can afford. and the type of food served. i myself am a picky eater before i go anywhere i make sure there is something for me to eat.

    i tend to keep track of places that have good food at about 20 dollars a person. this helps me keep my spending in check.

  • As a server that works at a semi high end restaurant, these kind of videos sometimes annoy the shit out of me lol. Like, we didn’t trick or force you to spend more money, and if you spend a lot of money, of course we’ll treat you a bit better and be a bit more attentive. It’s the same to every other businesses

  • I think people are afraid to buy the cheapest wine on the menu because they think their server will perceive them as cheap and thus give them subpar service, especially in high-end restaurants where they get a lot of rich patrons. Either that or they think more expensive = better quality, and with wine nothing could be further from the truth.

  • I don’t understand these videos. Don’t be a dumbass, order what you want…. and if you go out don’t be cheap have a good time …. is eating in restaurant is so difficult now ? Yeah they are evil 😆 or don’t bitch over 5 bucks….

  • I still don't understand the surcharge to make up the difference for a higher minimum wage. It always says it just like the menu on here "In lieu of raising prices" well you DID raise prices. Why not just increase the prices of the menu items instead of making a surcharge. Stop making the final price more complicated by tacking on another percentage increase after tax.

  • There's a bottle of wine called Josh Cabernet that we sell at our restaurant for $53
    This is one of my favorite bottles of red wine, but you can buy it for about $16 at the store

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