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Do You Know Restaurant Menus Are Shaping Your Dining Habit?

Do You Know Restaurant Menus Are Shaping Your Dining Habit?

That great restaurant you have been frequenting could be serving the most delicious foods or perhaps makes you realize the real meaning of hospitality. Yes, it is that one right spot where you believe whatever you pay is genuinely equivalent to the services you get. But as Richard Gray finds out, restaurateurs are one of the most intelligent and enterprising persons ever, thanks to the tricks they engage in as a way of boosting sales. He documents a few of these stealthily hidden tricks and explains the impact each brings forth to the business.

Menus that attract and confuse you at the same time

They’ll come with that somber (or elegant-looking), leather-bound menu filled with tight italicized descriptions and sumptuous-looking images of food, right in front of your table. The weight and appearance, according to Gray, determines how the customer perceives the establishment. Simple tweaks on the general order of the items also have an impact on the choice of food to be served. But that’s not all.

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Sweet, sentimental and indulgent descriptions can always get you

Using British retailer Marks & Spencer as an example, the post goes ahead to elaborate the power of carefully chosen words, how they are presented and what the world doesn’t know, eventually benefit the eatery. There is a lot to this, including adding the name of the drink’s inventor, the origin of the food, and use of indulgent sounding descriptions as well as what notable research institutions like Stanford University, California, discovered.

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It is a smart way of altering the customer’s mind

Longer, exceptional descriptions for expensive foods seemingly convince the customer that the price perhaps befits the food. More importantly, Richard Gray helps you understand the choice of “Sweet words” to choose, picture selection, optimizing the words selected and how to present them if you are planning to enter this business.

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The post gets a bit interesting when you consider that most of these tricks have scientific reasons behind them. It isn’t a surprise, therefore, when he says sales shoot by even “3,500%,” or even more. In the end, however, it becomes clear why you will find some restaurants and food parlors serving similar foods as local ones, yet racking in massive profits over the same types of food.

At the end of this piece, it becomes clear why the restaurant industry spends tens of billions of dollars in designing their menus, rather than marketing the business. If you would like to read through this article, do click here.

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Samantha Aloysius

Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology and has experience in diabetes care counselling.

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Last Updated on September 4, 2019

How to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance

How to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance

Kate is a hard-working manager working at a startup company.  She toils at work but gets that nagging feeling that she’s missing out on living her life. And then perversely, when she’s not working, she tries to switch off ‘work-mode’ to enjoy her passions, friends, family… but eventually she finds that she just doesn’t have the energy.

Many people are like Kate, misunderstanding the true meaning of work life balance. They try to keep ‘work’ and ‘life’ separate, but this brings undesirable results.

The Mystery of Work Life Balance

Those who are trying to maintain a work life balance only by dividing their time – by driving a sharp wedge between work-mode and life-mode – are inadvertently dividing themselves.

When people juxtapose ‘work’ and ‘life’, they unconsciously think in terms of ‘work’ versus ‘life’ – and are constantly forced to choose one at the expense of the other.  In this framework, a gain on one side is always a loss on the other side.

And so people start to see ‘work’ as the times when they are not living their lives. ‘Work’ is seen as a necessary evil that they must suffer through until it’s time to switch off. But if you encode everything related to work as negativity and suffering, while your ‘life’ strains under the weight of unrealistic expectations of enjoyment, there really is no balance there at all.

Re-balancing work and life is possible by seeking out a new and enjoyable job to a certain extent. But no job is perfect. There are always going to be tedious aspects to any job. And before long you’ll wind up on the same ‘life’ versus ‘work’ see-saw because you haven’t changed the old framework.

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How to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance

The true goal is to redistribute the positive (+) and negative (-) evenly across life.

Most people try to make it all positive off work to compensate the negativity at work like this:

    If it’s all negative at work and all positive when the work mode is switched off, the work performance will suffer – creating even more negativity. People will lean heavily on their off-mode life for happiness, but they can’t truly achieve happiness because they are not facing the problems at work.

    Conversely, there are those who do strive to put positivity into their work life. Their work life balance looks like this:

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      Unfortunately, if these people are still stuck in the old on/off framework, all the negativity will shift to their off-mode self, and their relationships and health will suffer.

      Very few lucky people experience positivity on both sides of the equation, their work life balance looks like this:

        If you are one of those who experience positivity in both sides, lucky you! You are one of the less than 5% of the population.

        For the rest of the 95% of the population, here is a cure to having a realistic work life balance.

        The solution is to recover the sense of a unified self. When you do, you’ll dismantle the competing work/life binary, and you’ll stop unconsciously labelling work as ‘suffering’ and life as ‘enjoyment’. Positive energy will begin to flow smoothly and effortlessly through your life.

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        To recover the sense of a unified self, ask yourself: Why do I really do what I do, in life and in work?

        Your answer to this question make up your blueprint of a unified self, charged with meaning that relates directly to who you are and what you care about.

        Use your blueprint now to examine your life at work, your leisure time and your relationships and see if they align with each other. The new framework is no longer ‘balance’, but ‘alignment’.

        This will reveal to you a number of things:

        • There are aspects of your work that are not suffering: Look again and you’ll find many positive aspects that reflect what you care about. For example, you may value creativity, and realize that you get the opportunity to show it at work every day.
        • Things you care about at ‘work’ are the same as what you care about in your ‘life’: For example, you may value friendship in your life, and you also practice this value with your colleagues. Your values exist in all your interactions, and serve your unified self.
        • What you do at work and what you do in your life support and enhance each other: For example, the same generosity you show your friends can forge good client relationships when practiced at work. Your resourcefulness at work can be used to solve obstacles in your personal life.

        Crucially, you never need to use the on/off work model again because you’re constantly acting in accordance with what you truly value. As a result, you’ll find that your positive energy will not be subject to draining or overflowing, off/on, but will instead flow consistently through all your states of being in a perpetual positive feedback loop.

        This is how a realistic work life balance is like:

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          Your renewed conceptualisation from ‘balance’ to ‘alignment’ is an inner transformation that can empower you whatever your current circumstances are.

          For example, it may reveal that you truly are suffering in your current job. But now you can unroll your blueprint to identify the cause of the negativity (i.e. what isn’t aligning with what you value?) and either remind yourself why you’re really doing what you’re doing, or make a tweak… or indeed change your job.

          Even if the latter, you can still be sustained by positivity until you find that new job. You may hate your everyday tasks, but one of things you value is to be a good provider for your family – so you’re spurred on, knowing that you’re doing that every day.

          Or if you’re a workaholic, your blueprint may reveal that what you previously undervalued as ‘off-mode’ (relaxing, having fun, pursuing a passion, spending time with family and friends) actually contain a wealth of values that support – and even enhance – a well-rounded working life.

          A value-rich and optimally tuned work life alignment helps maintain a flow of positive energy and happiness in all aspects of being. So go ahead and make the blueprint for yourself!

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