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4 Ways A Restaurant Atmosphere Can Sway Your Dining Decisions

Who would have thought everything from the music, lighting, food names, down to your waiters BMI could have such an effect on what you order when eating out? It’s true, and even more prevalent in our fast paced world with less eating in the home and more eating on the go. Next time you are enjoying your night out at a restaurant, be mindful of these natural environmental influences when ordering.

Your Waiter’s BMI (Body Mass Index)

This one really threw me through a loop, but it is true! If your waiter has a higher BMI, the customer is more apt to order dessert and an unhealthier meal at that. The mind automatically starts comparing body shapes and sizes all around you, forcing you to think, “what can it hurt?”  Not only do people order more dessert, but they also drink more alcohol when the waiter serving them has a larger BMI.

The Lighting and Music Level

Anytime the atmosphere is darker lit, and plays a more soothing style of music customers were apt to stay longer and eat more food. There have been multiple studies done on individuals who have brought in fast food to a fine dining restaurant. They ate more food and they dined for longer rather than eating in a hurry at a fast food restaurant. The darker lit the restaurant, means the more comfortable you will become, which in turn has people staying longer (and spending more money).

The Names of Food Items

The way food appears, and the way the dish is named makes a huge impact on the items that you order at a restaurant. The more descriptive and luscious the meal sounds, the more people naturally will order the meal. The more vague the dish sounds like “Steak and Potatoes” will not fare popular amongst the audience. The specials on a menu are strategically named somewhat extravagantly, so that it sways the customer to order the easy “special” that sounds delicious rather than having to make an informed decision on a huge menu.

Your Dining Companions BMI

Back to the lovely topic of BMI (not sure I like to think about this when I am eating a meal, but whatever.) If your dining companion has a higher BMI, you both are more than likely to eat more during your dining experience than if you were to be dining with someone with a low BMI. It not only makes a difference on the amount of food you order, but also the health levels of the food. There have been studies done on the amount of unhealthy food consumed by people dining with a person of a higher BMI count, than if they were to be dining alone. It is not always a given, but it happens in many dining experiences.

Whether you are alone, or dining with a friend, it is not a bad idea to be aware of the unseen influences that may sway your order to the more unhealthy side. Always stay true to the person you are, no matter what the influence is around you!

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