Sneaky Ways Fast Food Restaurants Get You To Spend Money

This is a Number 3 from McDonald's: a burger, fries, and a drink. It costs $11 in New York City. Fast food is supposed tobe cheap and convenient, but do you ever findyourself spending more on fast food than you expected to? You're not alone. According to one study, Americans spend around $1,200on fast food every year.

Places like McDonald's and Burger King do everything in their powerto get you to spend more money, and it turns out fast foodisn't as cheap as you think. Fast food is all about the deals. Value meals, combos, coupons, oh my. But the seemingly simple menu actually hides most of the options. Compare a fast food menu to afine dining restaurant menu. The restaurant menu is simple.

And not very stimulating, but the fast food menu is a noisy mess of options and categories, and fast food restaurantsgrab your attention with bright reds or oranges along with big appetizingphotos of their food. There's a hierarchy. The pictures are big,but the prices are small. They keep your attentionon the items that cost more.

By showing these reallybig on the left side where you start reading. You're not wondering ifthat burger is worth $6, you're just looking atthose big juicy patties. Hans Taparia: Food pictures,they light up the brain, you know, particularly when you're hungry. Large food pictures fora food company are key. Narrator: That's Hans Taparia. He's a health food entrepreneur.

And a professor of businessand society at NYU. Hans Taparia: The playbookhas been around for awhile, I would say since the '80s, which has been centered around simplicity, cheap and bold and bright. Narrator: Fast food restaurantsuse other tricks too, like not showing a dollar sign or using a 9.79 or 0.89 pricing format. Pretty much $10, butyou still think it's $9.

Because you read left to right. But what about the dollar menu, right? Well, dollar and value menus do exist, but they're often small and far off to one cornerwhere they are harder to see. Hans Taparia: And if you buy multiple items off the value menu, it won't necessarily becheaper than a Happy Meal. So it's not necessarilyless profitable for them,.

But it accomplishes two things. It keeps the consumer coming, and it's catering to a consumer that is increasingly poorer in the case of theseconventional fast food outlets. Narrator: And even thoughfast food menus are big, their confusing layouts make it difficult to find exactly what you're looking for. It's easiest to read the menu.

When you're close to the counter. But then it's time to order. The pressure is mounting, and you just pick that big,bright, juicy Number 3, and that Number 3 is where thereal secret of the menu lies: the combo. The star of the menu is the combo meal. You can order an entree,a side, and a drink just by saying one easy number.

It takes a lot less timeto order the Number 6 than a 10-piece nugget, mediumfry, and a medium drink, but have you actually done the math to see if that combo issaving you any money? Take McDonald's for example. If you buy a Number 3, it costs $10.39, but if you were to buy theDouble Quarter Pounder, medium fry, and mediumdrink, it costs $10.48. You're only saving 9 cents,.

And often you'll end up with things you didn't even want in portions that are way bigger than what's healthy. Hans Taparia: Andcreating this perception, which is quite real actually, that the per ounce cost ofsomething bigger is lower, and so I'm just gettingbetter value for my money, forget the fact that I'mbuying 32 ounces of soda, which has half a cup of sugar.

Narrator: The convenience of ordering a preselected meal givesfast food restaurants control over what you order. Combine this with multiple sizeoptions and cheap upgrades, and it's hard to walk awaywith a small in every category. When was the last time youwent to a place like Taco Bell and just bought one taco? Fast food restaurants make more money from customers buying multiple items.

Items like soda have amuch higher profit margin compared to burgers, so fast food companiesdo everything they can to get you to buy a drink. They've added thingslike 24-hour locations and all-day breakfast to make sure you can get whatever youwant whenever you want it. If you think you have more control at an ordering kiosk, you're wrong.

According to McDonald'sCEO Steve Easterbrook, customers spend more on average at kiosks 'cause they linger longer. Guess what those kiosks also have. Lots and lots of pictures. And that's just thetip of the, um, Frosty. Fast food companies are experts at getting customers in the door. They advertise the mostoutrageous deals on signs,.

Posters, and TV commercials. They can get you in the door for some buy one get one free nuggets, you'll probably buy a drink too. Oh, look. You can make that a meal and add fries for just a dollar more. Companies also use brand tie-ins like Doritos Locos Tacos.

And coupons that expire within the week, like the ones you may have seen on the bottom of your receipt, not to mention app reward points or special daily dealsfound only in the app, just like the old-fashioned punch card. You'll eat at a restaurant more often if each purchase bringsyou closer to free food. Any one thing in isolation itself.

May not have a huge impact. The power of marketing iswhen you overlay things. Narrator: But, there'sa deeper issue here. Fast food isn't as cheap as it used to be. According to Bloomberg, the average price of a fast food burger has increased by 54% in the last decade, outpacing fast-casual andfine dining restaurants. But fast food is sometimes the only option.

In low-income food deserts, and your environment has a big impact on your health and weight. Healthy fast-casual offerings are often so much moreexpensive than fast food that they no longer targetthe same demographic, especially if you're feeding a family. KFC will give you a lotmore food per dollar than an organic salad chain.

Fast food restaurants areable to lure consumers into spending more money onlarge, unhealthy portions because it's more affordablethan healthier options. Fast food can be cheap and convenient, but you have to fight offall the psychological tricks that are engineered to getyou to spend more money. You shouldn't be paying a premium for low-quality, unhealthy food.Sneaky Ways Fast Food Restaurants Get You To Spend Money

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *