Psychology of Restaurant Business
The following paper will discuss how restaurants utilize human psychology towards the manipulation of how their customers spend and eat. To begin the paper, an introduction to atmospherics and ambience will be discussed, followed by the minor details that many individuals don’t consciously pick up, yet are influenced by greatly.
Atmospherics are known as the atmosphere’s surrounding, the ambience, such as the noise levels, fragrant aroma or odor, comfortable temperature, and pleasant lighting. These factors greatly influence the environment in which an individual will choose to dine at.
Temperature makes a difference in how much an individual can consume based on body temperature and tolerance. During the cooler seasons of Fall and Winter, people tend to put on and carry more weight due to the hibernation effect. In contrast, during the warmer seasons of Spring and Summer, people tend to consume less, in comparison, and this is subjective not to mention. Restaurant owners know this need for the body to regulate its core temperature and in turn they adjust room temperatures in their establishment to slightly cooler temperatures. Lighting, when soft and warm, almost dimmed, can create an environment that is warm and inviting. This dim lighting effect influences the customer to feel more comfortable, lose inhibition, and staying longer.
Odor of food can almost entirely change an individuals’ decision on where to dine. According to Annual Review of Nutrition (2004), it has been found, for instance, that regardless of whether a person tastes a food or simply smells it, sensory-specific satiety can occur within a reasonably short time. A familiar aroma or intriguing spice can immediately create craving for certain foods.
Noise and music, are also inviting factors that can create a welcoming effect as well as a spending effect. Soft music generally encourages a slower rate of eating, longer meal duration, and higher consumption of both food and drinks (Annual Review of Nutrition, 2004). Consider the impact of music as one particular atmospheric variable with several studies indicating a positive relationship between musical tempo and the speed with which customers shop and also eat in restaurants (Caldwell & Hibbert, 1999; Milliman, 1982, 1986; Robally et al., 1985). Depending on the genre being played at a restaurant, it can not only attract or detract its’ customers, but also encourage the amount spent in one sitting. As part of a study, Consumer Researchers, Areni and Kim (1993) played classical music and top-40 pop music in a wine cellar. The number of bottles of wine sold did not differ between these two conditions; however, classical music led to more expensive wine being bought with customers spending a mean of $7.43 compared with $2.18 when top-40 music was played. Similarly, North and Hargreaves (1998) played classical music, pop music, easy listening music, and no music in a campus student cafeteria. Two things happened, first, the classical music effect led the students to feel as the cafeteria was more up-scale.
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