There’s been a fair bit of talk lately about when it’s appropriate to use the camera on your smartphone. Whether it’s Kate Bush requesting in advance that you don’t take a snap at her forthcoming series of concerts, this band not wanting you to ‘harsh their mellow’ or restaurants complaining that taking photos of your food not only ruins the ambiance but it’s time consuming too.

Some pretty generous estimations say that it takes 3 minutes to take a photo of your food. And the problem with this? Well, the figures quoted say that 9 out of 45 asked the waiter to reheat the food because they had left it sitting too long and there’s also the implication that time spent posturing for photos gives the restaurant less time to turn the table again that night.

Those who are pro-insta-food-photo would argue that it’s a great way of showing off what the restaurant are producing in their kitchen. In the majority of cases diners are taking photos of their food because they are impressed and want to share what a great meal they are having.

What side of the fence do you sit on? Do you want all and sundry to see a picture of your lobster ravioli or do you employ a strict ‘phones in the middle of the table‘ policy?

“That’s a fancy box at the top of the page, they must be the really good dishes.”

“Oh, the description makes it sounds so lovely and exotic. I’ll order that.”

Ever found yourself saying something like that when looking at a restaurant menu? If you have, there’s a fair chance that the person who designed it wanted to elicit those reactions. A recent study by Cornell University, as detailed on WSJ’s Marketwatch site reveals some of the tricks behind making restaurant menus irresistible.

Borders and elaborate descriptions, along with a high placement seem to be the place to find those high margin dishes whilst by denoting low calorie options, diners are more likely to stray from the healthy options with bland descriptions in favour of the less healthy dishes.

Have you ever noticed any of these tricks?

Ever had a discount for praying? Most of the time your surprise when you look at the bill is down to the second bottle of wine you forgot you had ordered, or the discretionary service charge that has been added, but imagine your surprise if you got the bill and found a discount, for praying.

This NPR article details the case of a diner in North Carolina who added a 15% discount to a customer who blessed her food but questions whether the discount would apply to all faiths, and if it’s fair. What’s the strangest discount you have seen offered and does your POS system have a ‘5% Praying in Public’ option?

It’s always good to see a familiar name when reading the paper so we were pleased to see Ben’s Cornish Kitchen getting a great review from Jay Rayner in The Observer this weekend. You can read it here.

Ben’s is a good example of how to give your customers extra info when using the online booking widget. Some friendly extra info to make sure that you get as much information as you want from the customer, first time.

The food sounds heavenly too 🙂

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