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

Stolen truck involved in fatal collision on Highway 16

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

Local company Northern Homecraft wins big at Northern B.C. awards

Vanderhoof company won in two categories for homes built in Fort St. James area

Column: the 4-H way of life

Local 4-H member Jacinta Meir on what being a member means to her

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I

Quesnel legion’s historian Doug Carey documents some of the atrocities of WWI

Conifex announces a temporary curtailment in operations at Fort St. James mill

Between 180 and 200 people will be affected by the curtailment for at least four weeks

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

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Tinder sex assault suspect charged; additional alleged victims sought

Vincent Noseworthy of Alberta is accused of aggravated sexual assault, unlawful confinement and more

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

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

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

Most Read