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

Sailings filling up on Northern Sea Wolf

There is a strong demand for the service

New ownership group presents Mount Timothy Resort plans

‘More activity and more people on the hill means more fun’

Thunderstorms in forecast for much of Cariboo Chilcotin

Special weather statements, concerns of flash flooding, for southern B.C. regions

Two Nuxalk artists awarded YVR Art Foundation scholarships

Several Nuxalk artists have won the award, some more than once

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Most Read