Good-looking servers influence how food tastes – for better and worse: B.C. study

Men were more likely to be influenced by an attractive server, new research says

A good-looking waiter or waitress can play a big role in how your food tastes, one B.C. study suggests.

Three business professors from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University set out to determine how physical attraction affects taste perception using online surveys and lab experiments, and published their findings in the Journal of Retailing in September.

A relatively good meal served by someone attractive will leave the guest happy, they found, while a less-than-satisfying meal results in the opposite reaction.

In other words: “When the server is attractive, good food tastes better, but bad food tastes worse.”

That’s because of the “negative disconfirmation effect,” when a person who already has high expectations is let down. In the restaurant scenario, they had expected the food to be especially good because of the server’s appearance, and were that much more disappointed when it wasn’t.

Men were more likely to be influenced by an attractive server, the study also found, while women were more likely to be affected by the restaurant’s location and noise.

READ MORE: New bill would prohibit employers from requiring women to wear high heels in B.C.

Study looks at how attractiveness of a server impacts a guests’s likeness of meal (Study graphic.)

”We believe restaurateurs should remain focused on what kind of experience they are actually offering,” SFU assistant marketing professor Lilly Lin wrote in a column this week for research network The Conversation.

“If the goal is to have diners focus on the food — including quality, sourcing, sustainability and taste — then distracting environmental cues that fail to align with the menu should, at the very least, be reconsidered.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

Prime minister rides horseback with Chief Joe Alphonse, TNG Chairman, to Xeni Gwet’in meeting place

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Rain, snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

B.C.’s Interior set to get hit with snow while the Lower Mainland is expected to see more rain

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Stolen truck involved in fatal collision on Highway 16

Wednesday’s two-vehicle crash killed one man, 23, and injured two others

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read