A new study has discovered that our mood for food can be changed by a restaurant’s choice of music and lighting, leading to increased satisfaction and REDUCED calorie intake (NOTE: The PRICE has now been reduced too!) Can't afford a restaurant? Maybe that's even better. Turn the lights down at home, light the candles, get out the good napkins and turn on soothing music--and DINE (and finish with a good cup of coffee).
Researcher Brian Wansink says, "When we did a makeover of a fast-food restaurant, we found that softer music and lighting led diners to eat 175 fewer calories and enjoy it more."
He found that softening the lighting and music in fast-food restaurants didn’t change what people ordered, but it caused them to eat 18% less of what they ordered--775 calories instead of 949. They also rated the food as more enjoyable. This study counters the popular notion that people who dine in a relaxed environment, with soft lighting and mellow music, will order more food and eat more than those in a more typical dining environment.
Wansink says, "These results suggest that a more relaxed environment increases satisfaction and decreases consumption. This is important information for fast-food restaurants, which are often accused of contributing to obesity: Making simple changes away from brighter lights and sound-reflecting surfaces can go a long way toward reducing overeating--and increase their customers' satisfaction at the same time."
Will McDonalds become a "destination" restaurant? Tune in later and see.