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    Psychology on order: How restaurants get you to spend more


    NEW YORK — You may think you’re immune to transparent sales pitches like “Do you want fries with that?” But the tactics restaurants use to nudge you into spending a little extra may be subtler than you realize.

    Here’s a look at a few ways companies get you to spend (and eat) more than you intended.

    Restaurant menus are a complicated mixture of psychology, art and sales pitches. No detail is too small to matter, right down to the dollar sign.


Eating clean: Whole foods can improve health, ward off disease


One of the big buzz terms in the nutritional health field right now is “eating clean.”

Those wanting to lose weight, tone their muscles, detox their systems or just feel better are all advised that the first step is to begin to “eat clean.”

At first look, eating clean seems obvious. A few easy steps should take care of things: avoiding fast food burgers, French fries, deep fried processed chicken bits and carbonated, sugar-laden beverages.


A fresh take on lamb


As a reporter of “news,” I don’t like to repeat myself, and I realize that “lamb for Easter” has been done.

Actually, by me, in this paper. To be fair, however, the last time I visited this topic was April 1990. In the intervening years, a new generation of cooks has entered the kitchen; a generation exploring new culinary frontiers made possible by the “foodie revolution.”

Exposure to global cooking has made adventurers out of home cooks, and meats (now popularly referred to as “proteins”) not previously on menu radar have become the next big thing to grill, braise or stir fry.

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    The lighter side of lighting


    LAS VEGAS — Taking a shine to millennials who’d rather express their individuality than follow traditional design edicts, manufacturers are making lighting that feels creative, innovative and playful.

    It’s a sign of the times, especially when it comes to lighted signage for interior ambiance. Design Legacy began making the reproduction lighted signs to coordinate with its nostalgic product mix. About 60 designs — including the popular Route 66 — account for much of the company’s growth over the past six or seven years, says Kelly O’Neal, president and lead designer. They also do lighted letters so you can create your own message or monogram.

    “I think that our customer has always liked that which makes them smile, or has a humorous approach to nostalgia,” she says.


    Spotlight on Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church


    Church name: Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church


    5 ways to try spring’s fashion forward trends on a budget


    From flare leg pants to rock festival chic, spring’s big fashion statements are daring and fun to wear. But since these trends may only be sticking around for a season, don’t break the bank when trying them. Turn to wearable (and affordable) versions that incorporate the hits, without the splurge or lifelong commitment.

    So long, skinnies! Flares and wide-leg pants are spring’s new silhouette. Old Navy Rockstar High-Rise Flare-Leg Jeans, $32, oldnavy.com

    Fringe swished around on the runways of Giambattista Valli and Isabel Marant. Try wearing it as a detail on a bag for an easy wardrobe update that carries out spring’s cool ’70s vibe. H&M Fringe Bag, $29.95, hm.com



    New products from Wisconsin


    Much of what happens during the annual Midwest Foodservice Expo is insider advice and networking for the hospitality industry and others whose work involves the preparation and delivery of good food.

    Vendors hawk food trucks to chef uniforms, digital advertising systems to slush machines. Also in the mix at this Wisconsin Restaurant Association event are food and beverage samples from tiny to major manufacturers.

    In the showcase are new products, some of which the average consumer can order online, buy at their local market or seek out when traveling. For example:

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