Scallops and truffles at Mlisse
Mélisse is charging customers between $50 and $100 this summer to add Australian truffles to their offerings, like this scallop dish.

Premium ingredients build cachet, sales

Restaurants are using upscale and luxury ingredients to entice consumers to spend more.

Post-recession consumers might be more cautious with their money than they used to be, but operators are finding that they’ll spend a little more for premium products and special experiences.

Even frugal customers, who may be scrimping on other items, are often willing to splurge on little extras that help turn a meal into an event — a few truffle shavings, an extra glass of wine, an exotic ingredient.

Global financial services firm Rabobank rece

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