Let's say you run a restaurant, and you are finding yourself squeezed by a penny-pinching public and increased costs of doing business. The obvious answer is to stop catering to cheapos and start bringing in the sort of free-spending crowd that gets into caviar fights and sets fire to fifties and hundreds just to see which will burn faster. But how to go from a fambly-friendly eatery to the sort of upscale place where fancy foodies will drop their platinums? Here are some easy tips to jacking up your prices:
1) Get rid of the "$" sign and decimal places on your menu. A price of "$15.99" will not do for a chicken sandwich--the customer will go elsewhere, like Dennys, where he might get respect and be allowed to keep his John Deere cap on while he dines! But a price of "16" in fancy script? You better believe Fancypants McGillicuddy will happy throw down his company card for the glorified McChicken.
2) Use the word "artisinal" liberally on your menu. Fun fact--no one actually knows what "artisinal" means! Foodies somehow think that some artistic specialist is out there actually mixing the curds for "artisinal cheese" when you clearly just unwrapped some cheddar from Whole Foods.
3) Why serve "beer" when you can serve "craft" beer? I'd gladly pay an extra couple bucks a glass for "craft brewed"! It already sounds tastier! Even though there's no special standard to make a beer "craft" brewed.
4) This also works with "aged", even though even letting something sit for five minutes can make it "aged", going by a strict definition of the term. "Aged beef", "aged cheese", hell even "aged chocolate" is going to upscale your menu! This doesn't work with "aged vegetables" though.
5) Change up your round plates for square plates. I can't tell you how many times I've said "Twenty bucks for McNuggets? They better come out on a square plate, that's for damn sure!"
6) If possible, make the food stand up vertically on the plate. The more vertical, the more pricey!
7) You want to really class it up? Cut your appetizers in half, and call them "tastes". You know who doesn't offer "tastes"? Cracker Barrel, that's who!
8) Make sure the silverware is extra heavy. I don't know why this equates to higher priced dining, but it somehow does.
9) Whatever you do, make sure the restaurant website is more of a discoteque experience than a helpful way to find the location, menu, and phone number of the place. Use plenty of flash animation and pulsing music. Fancy diners want a bit of a show before they call to make a reservation.
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