Apply Psychology to Food Truck Menu Pricing

Pricing psychology is one of the most fascinating areas of menu development for food truck businesses as well as other restaurant owners. Psychologically speaking, a huge difference exists between $9.99 and $10. Pricing theory says that menu items ending in an odd number (fractional pricing) convey a greater bang for your buck than when rounded up to the next whole dollar.

Customers believe that when people price their product fractionally, they’ve priced it as low as possible, hence the odd number. Customers will completely ignore the last digits, which sets a lower pricing in their head. Research also shows that prices ending in 98 or 99 convey much more savings than all other prices, including 49, 50 or 75.

With that said, many food truck owners feel that adding change to a price creates more problems than the possible increase of sales is worth. Due to the fact that many food truck customers make their purchases with cash, food truck owners find it much easier to simply price menus with whole dollars to prevent the need to spend additional time making change for their customers.

If you choose to use this method and find your food cost for an item is at a 50 cent mark or higher, round up to the next highest dollar; round down anything below the 50 cent mark.

Another example of pricing psychology is the elimination of the dollar sign next to prices on your menu board. By pricing a menu item at 6 rather than $6, you soften the price in such a way that it can cause your customers to disassociate the number they’re viewing with the actual dollars in their wallet. A number without a $ is much less intimidating.

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