Eye Tracking

Olive Garden Menus.png

A series of different Olive Garden Menus.

Valuable Study

An idea that I thought would be interesting to study ones eye tracking would be a restaurant menu. For this week’s illustration, I just used Olive Garden as an example; however, this concept can apply for any restaurant.

Why is eye tracking useful in studying this?

Eye tracking would be useful for this kind of study because it would help restaurant owners get an idea of where one is looking when going through a menu. There are many different factors that could affect this such as meal times, choice of food or just because there is picture located on the menu. If owners can find out what attracts the customers eyes when looking at the menu, then they can enhance or better set up the menu to meet the customer’s needs. In turn, profits will go up and customers will be happy.

Why would eye tracking work well?

Eye tracking would work well when looking at a menu because that is all someone is doing when opening a menu. People’s eyes wander from page to page and all over the place. It would be interesting to track ones eye tracks throughout a menu to get a sense of what he or she is looking for based on different factors.

Would it be better to have multiple methods?

I do not believe it would be better to have multiple methods in this case because the purpose of this study is based on eye tracking so it is important to focus on the issue.

Organization of the Study

Surveys or questionnaires can be provided at the restaurant or accessed online at a later time. With this, we could gather valuable information based on what the customers are looking at when opening up the menu. Customers that complete these surveys could be offered some sort of incentive such as a free appetizer or drink for completing them.

Hopeful Discoveries

After the completion of the study, it would be hopeful to get a better understanding of what a person looks for when opening the menu. It would be interesting to see if they go straight for drinks or straight for appetizers first. From that, it would be valuable to see if pictures in the menu have some kind of influence on what is ordered. Maybe the time of day will have to do with what a person orders as well. Or, maybe customers are attracted to the specials page. Either way, I would hope to get a general idea of what attracts the customers eyes and what is the tipping point in their decision making process when ordering something at a restaurant.

Challenges of the Study

One big challenge with this study, as well as with many studies is that not everyone is the same. However, the goal is to get a general idea of what the majority of people are doing. Another challenge includes the time of day when someone is ordering. This could influence the overall results from the study. A way to counter that though would be to break it up into time slots. Another challenge would be to actually get some results and feedback from the customer. Many people today do not bother to take additional surveys that take away from their own time. As mentioned earlier, an incentive to take the survey would be beneficial to obtain some data. This study is also very broad, so it will also take time to really break this down to get the results.


One thought on “Eye Tracking

  1. I liked how you used menus for your discussion. I wonder if Olive Garden servers notice which meal selections were chosen more often than others based on where specific meals were placed on a menu? Is that why they change up their menu once a while but with the same meal choices placed in different places? Sometimes they add “special” inserts in a menu booklet that already have the same meals on the bigger menu and are usually pictured bigger.

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