The answer is: the human mind accepts and retains information more easily
when it is broken into well organized chunks.
Random, uncategorized, or large chunks of information are not easily accepted and the mind can become
overwhelmed. When the mind feels overwhelmed it shuts down, rejects the
information not allowing it to enter
long-term memory. This includes your staff entering your customers orders.
New employees quickly learn your menu quickly because it is organized in small "chunks".
benefits of fewer menu choices are faster and accurate orders.
Both, in fact, are proven major factors in customer satisfaction.
See also our Customer Satisfaction Study.
Basically, the mind can't bear information presented in an unrelated or random way
and favors small categorized groupings. The mind prefers chunks as proven in the
widely accepted "Chunk Theory".
The Magic Number Seven
There's quite a lot of evidence to back up the principles behind chunk theory;
possibly the most famous is a piece of research for the Bell Telephone Company
(and the reason phone numbers were originally 7 digits).
The research was titled;
"The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for
George A. Miller, Harvard University.
First published in The Psychological Review, one of the most prestigious publications.
NOTE: As quoted from Psychological Review (Vol 101, No.2) this "is clearly
the most widely cited article in the history of the Psychological Review".
Below from Psychological Review, Miller is Number 2 in SSCI and Number 1 in SCI.
Now 50+ years later, this article is still widely accepted as valid and still
one the most cited psychology articles.
The research showed that the mind needs to use, "a process of organizing or
grouping the input into familiar units or chunks." It was found that the maximum
number of things the human mind could comfortably remember or work with was
limited to 5-9 things. With the mid point being
the magic number 7.
So Easy Even with No Training
In a follow up study we selected people with little computer experience,
various educational, intellectual, socio economic, and cultural backgrounds
to test our order entry system. The results were, that given any of the above
stated backgrounds, every person was able to enter an order with no training
what so ever. All orders were completed accurately and in timely fashion.
A special thanks to Nicole Kitos M.A. Boston University School of Psychology for guiding our research in the proper direction.
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