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

Academic honours for Westholme volleyball siblings

VIU standouts Doug and Danielle Groenendijk gain further recognition

Easter Fun Day

Kids fill their baskets with treats Saturday at Fuller Lake Park

Mad scramble for Easter treats

Crofton Easter Egg Hunt brings out hordes of kids and massive bunny chases

Dunk yourself into the musical theatre experience

Chemainus Theatre hosting a series of summer camps for student actors

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Most Read