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5 Things Which Influences The Way We Order Food In Restaurants


Ordering from the menu in a restaurant is a painstakingly long process. With a myriad of items available for our eating pleasure, there is distinct need to look over every single dish on the menu, so as to make the right choice. Although we tend to not overthink during the ordering process, there are a few things subconsciously affecting the way you order food. 

Many research studies have been conducted to determine what goes into our thinking when ordering food. It is helpful is figuring these out so we don’t let outside influences affect the way we order food in a restaurant. 

Here are a few ways your brain is influenced into ordering at a restaurant

1. BMI Is The Key To Eating Less?

Although this may sound a little condescending, the BMI levels of the waiter in a restaurant and the person you are dining with directly influences the way we consume food. According to studies published in Environment & Behaviour and the food journal, Appetite, the size of the people in your vicinity has a direct correlation with the amount of food you eat. The heavier they are, the more likely you are to indulge in unhealthy food. 


2. The Specials Menu Is The Easy Choice

Seems like we would rather order directly from the specials menu than to comb over the menu and choose what we actually would prefer to have. According to a study published in Psychology and Marketing, people who were given the specials menu were more likely to order from that menu than the regular menu. The correlation between the two is hard to decipher but there are some distinct disadvantages in ordering from the specials menu. The specials menu usually contains significant higher priced items as compared to the items on the regular menu. 


3. First In Line 

According to a study conducted by PLOS One, the food item which is placed first in the buffet line is more likely to be picked by the customer. The research study conducted an experiment with two buffet lines featuring healthy food first in one line and unhealthy food first in the second line. The participants of the study chose the items which were first on the line, whether it be healthy fruits or the unhealthy cheese items. The study suggests that while eating at a buffet, we should start with the salad counter to reduce the amount of unhealthy food we consume. 


4. Soft Music = Less Food

The ambiance of restaurants is the second thing of the list of how we judge our experience in a restaurant, apart from the food. A study published in the Psychological Reports journal concluded that people who eat at fine-dine restaurants are more likely to stay for a longer period of time but eat less when compared to people who dine at fast food joints. The relaxed atmosphere in a fine-dining restaurant puts people’s mind at ease and makes us enjoy the food better. 


5. It’s All In The Name

Even if the dishes in a restaurant are what we can call basic, the descriptive names of the dishes tends to influence us more. The more descriptive the name, the more likely we are to order that dish. According to a study published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, the participants found that dishes with descriptive names to be more tasty and delicious than their counterparts.