An Atlanta steakhouse recently experimented with giving its customers a copy of the wine list loaded onto an iPad. The device allowed diners to learn more about the quality of the wines on the list. The iPad served as a credible authority on wine — and not a bad sales person, either.
Since their debut six weeks ago, the gadgets have enthralled the (mostly male) customers at Bone’s. And to the astonishment of the restaurant’s owners, wine purchases shot up overnight — they were nearly 11 percent higher per diner in the first two weeks compared with the previous three weeks, with no obvious alternative explanation.
The restaurant’s wine steward was struck by the credibility of the machine over the human being.
“With the information on the device, they seem more apt to experiment by buying a different varietal or going outside their price range,” Mr. Reno said. “It stuns me, but they seem to trust the device more than they trust me, and these are people I’ve waited on for 10 years.”
Hat tip: Farnam Street.
Cass Sunstein is currently the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and has no affiliation with the Nudge blog.
The Nudge blog is edited by John Balz.
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