51 Terms that Add Real Dollars to Your Menu Items

Have you ever heard the term, perceived value pricing? If not, here's a definition from The Economic Times: Perceived value pricing is that value which customers are willing to pay for a particular product or service based on their perception about the product. Perceived value pricing is not based on the cost of the product, but it is the value which the customer thinks that he/she is deriving from consuming a product or a service. 

One tried and true way to increase the perceived value of your menu items is nomenclature (the way that you name things). Here are 50 terms that we use at The Foundry & The PUBLIC Mobile Kitchen to increase the perceived value of our menu items (tip - apply them with caution because you want to make sure they're true to the way you're cooking):

  1. Roasted
  2. Oven Roasted
  3. Crispy
  4. Sauteed
  5. Local
  6. Organic
  7. Naming the region the item comes from (i.e. Calabrian Chiles) 
  8. Naming the animal the item comes from (i.e. Buffalo Mozzarella)
  9. Toasted
  10. Sourced
  11. Warm
  12. Cold
  13. Pickled
  14. Seasonal
  15. Whipped
  16. Puffed
  17. Grilled
  18. Fresh
  19. Aged
  20. Including the aged year (i.e. 18 yr balsamic)
  21. Spring
  22. Winter
  23. Summer
  24. Fall
  25. Autumnal
  26. Seared
  27. Braised
  28. Handcut
  29. Burnt
  30. Caramelized
  31. Crumb
  32. Crisp (instead of cracker)
  33. Table side
  34. Charred
  35. Cured
  36. Poached
  37. Housemade
  38. Garden
  39. Oven Dried
  40. Buttermilk Fried
  41. Dipped (i.e. honey dipped)
  42. Scented
  43. Squeezed
  44. Spiced
  45. Salted
  46. Crusted
  47. Shaved
  48. Smoked
  49. Marinated
  50. Farm-Raised
  51. Wilted

If you've ever written a poem or song and tried to rhyme the words at the end of phrases, then you know how to try and apply these terms. It's trial and error to start. Take a few, try them and see what your customers (or friends and family) think. Your item names can make a big difference in how your food & pricing is perceived.