Yildirim and team assessed the implications of indoor plants in restaurants. They found using digital images that “restaurants designed with indoor plants had a more positive effect on the shopping decisions of participants than restaurants designed without indoor plants. . . . higher education graduate participants showed more positive opinions about the plant designed restaurant than secondary education graduate participants. . . .
Researchers investigated responses to social distancing tools. Taylor lead a team that determined that in restaurant dining rooms “consumer perceptions of the dining room that utilized partitions [to enforce social distancing rules] were significantly greater than those that used mannequins. . . .
Alamir and Hansen evaluated how experiencing particular sorts of sounds influences our response to food served. They determined that “Relaxing music increased the liking of food at 30 and 40 dBA by 60 and 38%, respectively. Restaurant noise and road traffic noise decreased the liking of food at all noise levels. The increase of noise levels [data were collected at 30, 40 and 50 dBA] decreased the liking of food for all noise types. . . . These results could also be helpful in choosing and designing dining areas with background noise that increase food enjoyment.
Garnett and colleagues studied how physical distance can nudge people toward particular food choices in cafeterias; using design to encourage specific behaviors is frequently discussed, for example, in the context of supporting healthier living. The Garnett-lead team reports that they “undertook two experimental studies involving 105,143 meal selections in the cafeterias of a British university.
Big changes, sizable results
Pierguidi and colleagues investigated differences in the environments in which people may prefer to drink cocktails; their findings are relevant to the design of any spaces where alcohol may be consumed.
People have fun at hotels and restaurants but their design is serious business. Understanding the neuroscience of positive experiences for the people who use and own these spaces is very, very important. Hospitality-related science-based insights can guide the development of restaurants, hotels, and many other spaces, both public and private.
A Kao-lead team linked what we’re looking at with what we choose to eat; we make healthier choices when looking at nature images than we do otherwise.
Staats and Groot investigated where solo individuals choose to sit in a crowded café when there are already people sitting in some of the coffee house seats.
Body position has been linked to eating experiences.