A trending thread on Reddit has sparked conversation about a restaurant that offers a “woman’s meal.”
A post in the subreddit r/mildlyinteresting featured a picture of an unnamed restaurant's menu, where the breakfast options list a “Hungry Man’s Special” featuring two eggs, two pancakes, two strips of bacon, two sausages, home fries, and toast for $11.99. Right beneath it is a dish called the “Hungry Woman’s Special,” which offers one of each item in the man’s meal — but for only $1 less. Members of the subreddit had a lot to say on the subject, with close to 5,000 comments on the post.
“The stupid part of this is the gendered names of the specials, not the pricing,” says one Redditor.
Another Redditor argued that they could see the reasoning behind the price. “I imagine that part of it as well, in this particular case, is that the amount of labor a chef puts into (for example) 1 slice of bacon is virtually identical to 2 slices," the user writes. "I have to imagine that there's a lot more difference in material price between the two than just that dollar, but the functionally equal labor cost to produce that breakfast would factor in as well.”
The discussion got deep, as Redditors debated the psychology of marketing, likening the menu to something that might happen with a movie theater’s concessions pricing.
“Some items are not offered to be purchased; they are offered for some psychological effect,” writes one Redditor. “This may make you willing and satisfied to purchase the man’s special because it seems ‘relatively’ worth its price. If the woman’s special is not on the list, the psychological effect is missing.”
“This is the same concept as movie theatre popcorn pricing. Basically, they want you to order the Hungry Man,” adds another user. “By making the half-size seem like a bad deal, the full-size seems like a steal. Ultimately, you end up ordering the more expensive meal because it seems ‘like a better deal,’ even though you’re spending more money.”
Redditors didn’t say they wouldn’t go to a restaurant with items named in such a manner. That doesn’t mean they like it, though.
“I hate restaurants that do gendered items on their menu,” points out one person. “I don’t really want to say I want the ‘Little Girly Beer’ that’s 16 ounces but I definitely don’t want the ‘Big Man Hoss’ beer that’s 96 ounces.”
This isn't the first time a gendered menu has gone viral. In 2019, Mama D’s in Little Rock, Arkansas, gained attention for its “My Girlfriend Is Not Hungry” special, which gave diners the option to add extra fries, wings, or cheese sticks to a meal for $4.25. The diner closed that same year.