Eat my words

According to a recent study we conducted with 2,000 diners…

look up posh food terms when eating out because we can’t understand the menu!

find the meaning of words like quenelle, and ballotine baffling!

See how you get on with some popular menu terms…

We’ve come up with some top tips for mouth-watering menus that customers can understand…

  • DO use appealing words like fresh, crispy, tender, grilled and marinated- for 66% of diners the description is more persuasive than photos or nutrition

  • DO bring to life healthier dishes: 23% think healthy dishes aren’t exciting enough

  • DO highlight locally-sourced, sustainable foods and make sure dietary requirements can be met

  • DON’T use complicated and confusing terms, a pet hate for 38%

  • DON’T use minimal descriptions of a dish like beef with potatoes- 35% dislike them

  • DON’T use random French words such as Pommes Frites, processing foreign words requires more cognitive effort, and two thirds have to look them up

  • DITCH the chalk menus: 30% of diners dislike them!

Dr Sylvia Jaworska, psycholinguist and Associate Professor at Reading University

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