What is nudging?
Nudging in behavioral economics is a “gentle push” we give a potential client to take an action.
Often confused with manipulation, nudging, aims to make people act in certain way.
A slight modification of the choice architecture is not equal to a limitation of freedom.
The subjects, in fact, have the same options available to them.
There aren’t prohibitions or deprivations imposed from above.
Only small nudges that stimulate people to make a more desirable decision.
This choice would otherwise be ignored.
In this article I will tell you about some examples of nudging and also apply it to the food and beveradge field.
Examples of nudge
There are several example about the application of the nudge theory.
A well-known case is surely the one of the fly in the men’s public urinals at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport.
Since passing businessmen had a poor aim and thus soiled the toilets, a fly was drawn inside the toilets with the aim of appealing to the innate instinct to “hit the spot.”
In this way, the fly helped airport staff significantly reduce (by 80%) unhygienic and undesirable behavior by users.
This example does not emphasise the positive effect that the application of nudging can have socially and for the community.
There are many success stories that have come about as a result of the gentle nudge.
Have you ever seen a green arrow that point to healthy foods in supermarkets?
This very simple idea leads people to buy more fruits and vegetables.
Another example is the Nike‘s campaigns that drew phrases such as “don’t stop” on park benches to urge citizens to move more.
The nudge theory applied to the menu
As a restaurant manager, how can you influence your customers’ dining experience?
Customers may not want to order the most expensive dish, but they may also not want to get the cheapest one.
The best way to influence their decision toward choosing a relatively expensive dish.
To do so, literally put them in the middle.
First, place the most expensive dishes at the top. This would make the price of any other dishes below them seem reasonable.
Also be sure to add cheaper dishes as well so that when your customers choose the mid-range dishes, they know they’ve opted for a good option.
Another tip is to put the dish you want to push the closest to the ones you sell the most.
The consumer’s brain, starting from the top in reading the menu, will find what I call the ‘survival’ dish, what for most customers in that restaurant is the dish to order.
From that point on, the consumers will think they have found the dish they want to order.
From there on they will continue to scroll through the menu, and if they find there the dish you want to promote you have a good chance of having given our customer a nudge.
In another article I told you how to organize the menu in a clear and engaging way, if you missed it you can find it here.
If you want to learn more about this topic, this article is an excerpt from my book “Neurofood: neuromarketing applied to the world of food and wine” published by Hoepli.