No one likes to feel manipulated but the sad news is you are manipulated almost daily by the large and small businesses you frequent. I’m not talking about anyone making you buy products you don’t want, although that happens almost daily too.

I’m talking about things businesses do to make it easier on them to serve you and be more profitable at the same time.


Disneyland is probably the biggest pioneer of handling large groups of people using cost efficient methods. Rather than having mile long lines to get on rides that discouraged people from getting in those lines, Disney invented the zig-zag lines which looked shorter and took up less space. More riders; more profit. Now you find that same design in airports, movie theaters, banks and other businesses that have lines that need to be managed quickly and profitably.


Do the seats in McDonald’s have to be that hard, that tight and that uncomfortable? They do when you don’t want people overstaying and taking up space for the next patrons. Restaurants, fast food restaurants included, live and die by the number of times they can turn each seat. When you have a dollar menu each diner is important but you also have to turn the seat many times to make it pay. A four star restaurant is just the opposite. Why not relax and have another $200.00 bottle of Dom Perignon 55 with your dessert?

Super Markets

Do eggs, milk, butter and meat have to be at the back of the store? No, those items could be anywhere but since those are some of the most purchased items the grocery chain would like you to walk down, not just any aisle, but the flow of traffic they have designed for you to walk down.

They are hopeful that while you are on your way to get that gallon of milk you might remember dog food, or soda, or other items that have a higher markup and are more profitable.

And where are the most profitable items — at the checkout. Those delicious candy bars, movie magazines, and other tempting impulse buys strategically placed at eye level.

Some Final Thoughts

Businesses are not doing bad things. They are acting exactly as all of us act. We live in the best living spaces we can afford, drive the best cars we can, eat the best food that our budget allows. Why fault business for doing exactly the same thing?

It’s actually to our benefit that business is trying to be more profitable. That usually means better service for us, lower overhead for them, lower prices in some cases, and the feeling that we will do business there again. People are in business to do one thing; stay in business. Can’t possibly do that without happy, satisfied customers.

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