When it comes to enjoying food, people say the first bite is with the eye. And they probably don't know just how right they are...
Eyes down for a delicious meal
Well it’s official now: the better a dish looks, the better it tastes. A new study from Oxford University has demonstrated that how we present food makes a huge difference to how much the diner enjoys it.
This groundbreaking research reveals that presentation plays a role in how much we relish our food — no matter what we’re eating. And we’re not just talking about how you serve up artfully-arranged plates of haute cuisine: this is about everyday meals such as that perennial favourite, steak and chips or a simple garden salad.
We eat with our mind. Something that looks good and that we believe has been thoughtfully prepared, we experience as having more flavour.
The value of vision
This perceptual mechanism affects how we value things — and this has a knock-on effect on food pricing, too. The more we note, appreciate and value the attention that’s gone into making our meal look more appealing and appetising, the more we’re willing to pay for the fantastic-looking result. Vision equals value.
Take the simple garden salad: a selection of fresh salad leaves and cucumber. You could just toss it all in a bowl and present it as done. But by arranging the leaves so the prospective diner could glimpse the full mix included and then topping it with thinly-sliced cucumber, participants in the study were willing to pay more than twice as much. Attractive preparation and evidence that time has been invested were valued twice as high as the raw ingredients.
See the possibilities
We understand that presentation matters and that, alongside great service, spot-on value and amazing flavours, you’re looking for a fantastic experience, too.
A huge part of this depends on providing a feast for the eyes, so we build this into everything we do. From the first impression we create as you set foot in our restaurants, through to how we lay out our menu choices, and the delicious plate-full you then sit down and eat — we take care of our presentation so you get the most from your visit.
It’s all part of the service. Take a look at our ‘great service’ page to find out more.