Handwritten Menus Are Perceived By Diners As Offering Better, Healthier Food

If you're running a restaurant and you want diners to perceive your food in a more positive light, one simple psychological hack is having your menus written out in longhand.

According to the May 2019 Journal Of Business Research, a publication that works waaaay ahead of schedule, a trio of researchers at Ohio State University concluded that restaurants using handwritten fonts (as opposed to ones typed and printed out) "generate more favorable attitudes toward the menu, perceived healthiness, and social media engagement."


There is a caveat: According to phys.org, the restaurant must already be perceived as serving healthful foods—a farm-to-table restaurant would apply, a fast food restaurant not so much. But for those "better-for-you" restaurants, having menus written out by hand convey "a sense of human touch" which leads to positive feelings about the establishment.

We know the researchers say it's restaurant-dependent, but is there a cutoff point? So The Takeout took select menu items from Chili's current menu and wrote it out in cursive longhand, to see if it evoked any sunny feelings.

Not really.