Why a rude waiter can ruin your food (and even its taste)

Desserts

Nobody likes to pay to eat in a restaurant and to be treated badly; something that, luckily, is not the usual thing, but it has happened to all of us. This type of behavior - waiters who ignore you, you have unspecified surcharges, an offensive treatment ... - ruin the experience, but, as a new study points out, they can also make food taste different to us.

Researcher from the University of Southern Illinois Jaehoon Lee has studied how the behavior of waiters alters our perception of the food that is served. And their findings are surprising.

Lee has found that lower-class people are more likely to assume that food will be less delicious if the waiter is inattentive or rude, while higher-class people - those with better jobs, more money, and more education - they generally don't take it for granted.

“This is because lower-class people tend to perceive situations as interconnected and holistic,” explains Lee, in the study's presentation release. "People who have fewer economic resources, for example, may turn to others for help and feel more dependent, so they are more influenced by external circumstances."

Why are there crappy places that succeed?

The fact that our perception of food changes depending on the behavior of the person who serves it is explained, according to the researcher, due to the so-called “carry-over effect”, whereby poor service leads to negative judgments about other aspects of the food consumer experience.

This new research is not the only one that has explored the effects of service on the perception of a meal. As researchers Eileen A. Wall and Leonard L. Berry explained in a study of the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, the experience in a restaurant is determined by three factors: the food, the service and the atmosphere. And, although the three are interconnected, it is the service that has the greatest influence on the rest of the factors.

In short, if the food is delicious and the service charming, we can overlook eating in an infectious tavern; But if the waiters are unkind, our perception of the food and the place will be much harsher. Or put another way, restaurants with good service and food can survive despite the fact that the atmosphere works against them, but if the service fails, it doesn't matter how wonderful the place we eat is.

However, this changes depending on the type of restaurant. A study carried out in Chinese food establishments found that, in this case, the quality of the food weighs much more in the perception of the quality of the establishment than the atmosphere and the service. The same conclusion is thrown by another study carried out this time in pubs Irish style.

A possible explanation? In restaurants that assume a “standard” style, food is valued more than other factors, something that does not happen in restaurants that want to go further, where, curiously, we value other aspects above food.

This is how we are.

Images | Pixabay / Obedms Direct to the Paladar | Does the restaurant service seem slow to you? The mobile may be to blame

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Topics
  • Gastronomic culture
  • Gastronomy
  • waiter
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