From the dim lighting to the trendy tunes, there are countless factors beyond the food that influence what you think about a restaurant. Now, a new study claims that even the font chosen for a menu can influence your perception.

The study, led by Stephanie Liu, an Assistant Professor of Consumer Sciences at The Ohio State University, suggests that restaurants with handwritten menus (as opposed to machine-written/professionally printed) are seen as having better tasting food. Research found that the imperfect handwritten font generated more favorable attitudes toward the menu overall. Furthermore, the food was perceived as being healthier.

The findings are explained in the abstract of the paper, published in the Journal of Business Research: “The results show that handwritten typeface creates a competitive advantage by conveying a sense of human touch, which subsequently induces the perception that love is symbolically imbued in the restaurant’s offerings.”

The researchers then determined that the effect was felt by both group and solo diners, but that the handwritten typeface also helped solo diners feel less lonely.

“As a marketing strategy, customers are just subconsciously processing information, and they feel that human touch in the letters on the menu,” Liu said. “And they feel that the restaurant put more effort into the design of this menu and they are getting this produce to your with more care.”

So the next time you’re grabbing coffee or a quick sandwich, notice if your favorite spots have enticed you to dine with them by using their rustic, homey handwriting.


Also see, These were the best-reviewed chain restaurants of the past year.


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.