Think of a restaurant menu as a maze -- designed to wind not you, but your money out the exit.
Gregg Rapp is a Palm Springs, CA, menu "engineering" consultant. He has designed menus for everything from fancy Hong Kong hotels to your neighborhood Taco Bell.
Rapp told one of my trusted consumer resources, Bottom Line Secrets magazine, that restaurants regularly use sleight-of-hand in their menu lay-outs. Each trick, Rapp said, is designed to persuade customers to spend more.
"The human eye tends to go first to the upper right-hand corner of a page," Rapp told BLS. "That's where you can expect to find a menu's "stars" - restaurant lingo for popular entrees with the highest gross profit margins.
"The upper right-hand corner won't necessarily display the most expensive things on the menu, only the most profitable. That's because highlighting a costly porterhouse steak or lobster might scare customers away."