When prices don’t look like prices

What do you make of the prices on this bar menu?


The most obvious thing you’ll have spotted is that there’s no currency symbol against the prices and the amounts are shown to only one decimal place or none at all if a round number.

It’s a strange phenomenon, but presenting your prices in a way that means they don’t look the way we expect prices to be is a great way to disarm your buyers’ normal price sensitivity.

Restaurants, bars and other leisure providers routinely present prices in this way as it helps desensitise us from our normal judgemental state when buying, allowing us to live more in the moment of enjoyment rather than having to worry about whether we’re getting value for money or not. After all, when we’re sitting down to dinner in a nice restaurant, the last thing many of us want is to not have what we fancy from the menu because it’s too expensive. Restaurateurs know this and cleverly use different pricing formats to stop us thinking about money so we can focus instead on enjoying ourselves (while spending as much as possible!)

Of course, the bill inevitably arrives at the end of the meal, complete with currency symbols, decimal places and those “optional” extras! Next time you’re enjoying a night out take a look at the menu and see how your host is helping you have a great night out while also helping themselves.