The menu designer for an Austin restaurant, Roll On Sushi Diner, must be a Neuromarketing or Brainfluence reader. A while back, I identified sushi-style pricing as being the worst possible approach because each tiny bite is a separate pain point (see Painful Sushi and Other Pricing Blunders).
Addressing the “sushi pricing” problem is difficult. An “all you can eat” price is likely ideal, and that’s exactly what seafood and sushi buffet restaurant Todai offers. Unfortunately, that’s only workable in some situations and for some products. Most sushi restaurants would have to limit their offerings or charge exorbitant prices to adopt that strategy.
Bundling is another way to avoid the drip-drip-drip effect of pricing by each item purchased, and also has the beneficial effect of concealing individual item prices making mental price comparisons difficult. $500 might seem like a lot of money for a better car sound system, but when it’s part of a $3,000 luxury package that includes leather seats, a moonroof, and several other items, who can tell? And I have indeed been in sushi restaurants that offer platters that contain a variety of sushi items for one price.
So, what clever strategy is employed by Roll On? They don’t use prices by the menu items – none at all! Rather, each item has a colored dot that corresponds to a price on a legend at the bottom of the menu. So, as you pick items from the menu, you aren’t constantly reminded of the cost of each one. A while back, I wrote about how some restaurants omit currency symbols on their prices to boost sales (see Pricing Lessons from Restaurants), but Roll On takes the prices completely away.
This doesn’t completely eliminate the pain caused by individually pricing small menu items, but it’s a creative way to reduce that pain. And, perhaps, sell more sushi!
Have you seen other restaurants or businesses take this approach? Do you think it works? Leave a comment with your thoughts!