Nudging diners towards climate friendly dishes


Our client was interested in improving the climate footprint of their restaurant by encouraging vegetarian meal choices without limiting the meat and fish alternatives on their menu. They wanted an evidence based approach to measure the impact of the intervention for a straight forward cost-benefit analysis.



Behavioral Insight:

When making decisions, especially in hectic environments or when engaged in conversation with others, we tend to go for the easiest option that is “good enough”.


Normally, the restaurant offered two daily dishes, a meat and a fish alternative, while a vegetarian option was available upon request. In a randomized controlled study over one month we exposed half of the diners to a revised menu where a vegetarian dish was featured at the top instead of the meat with information that a meat dish was also available. The other half of the diners got the old menu with the meat alternative at the top. We then measured sales results for both groups.


We found that meat consumption remained at 50% in the group with the old menu, as before. While in the group that got the menu which featured a vegetarian option, meat consumption dropped to around 20%. Importantly, overall restaurant sales remained steady over the course of the experiment in both groups.


Lessons Learned:

A simple rearrangement of the menu encouraged consumers to choose the vegetarian option and led to a substantial decrease in meat consumption without restricting choices for consumers.

We are a management consultancy applying behavioral insights to create business and societal impact. We use our expertise in behavioral economics and social psychology to design evidence-based solutions to critical challenges. We leverage scientific methods to identify interventions that will have long lasting, measurable effects.




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