The Reason Some Restaurants Don't Have Menu Prices Online

If you've ever tried to look at a restaurant's online menu before going out to eat, you've probably noticed that not all restaurants list their prices. While this can be frustrating for customers who are unfamiliar with the restaurant or looking to stay within a certain budget, restaurants actually have several reasons for not including that specific information.

One deciding factor in not including prices in an online menu is the effort it takes to update said menu. Foods change in price regularly, whether due to the food inflation crisis, market prices, or supply chain shortages, and many restaurants don't want to readjust their menu every time a change occurs. Similarly, Reddit points out that prices may vary by region, and not every restaurant website is equipped with a "locate" feature.

Restaurants might also leave prices off their online menus in order to stay ahead of competitors. For instance, if a customer sees that Restaurant A is charging a few dollars more than Restaurant B for a fried chicken sandwich, they'll likely choose Restaurant B. As such, Restaurant A loses business.

A lack of online menu prices can be upsetting for customers

While we can understand why restaurants might be reluctant to share their prices online, the fact is this practice can be problematic for customers. As we mentioned previously, some customers may have a set budget for a meal out, and online menus (with prices) help them determine whether or not they can dine at a given restaurant. As one Redditor wrote, "When shopping with my daughter I tend to say, 'If there's no price it's too expensive.'" Another agreed that they would refuse to order delivery if an online menu didn't show pricing.

Without menu prices available beforehand, customers might be trapped in a financial bind when they receive their bill and realize it's double what they anticipated spending. As one Eater writer explains, "[It's] like getting a ticket for a law you didn't know existed," and can easily ruin a night out. At the end of the day, some people may argue that customers shouldn't dine out if they aren't prepared to pay, but the fact is that leaving prices off online menus –- and even in-store menus –- is just another way restaurants trick you into spending more money.