The lighter side of eating

(07 /07 /2016)

Do you prefer a dim candlelit atmospheric meal or a light and bright bubbly affair?

A new finding from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornel University shows that “bright lighting encourages healthy food choices”.

The study involved surveying 160 restaurant patrons at four different restaurants. The survey come back with some interesting results including that customers are 16-24 percent more likely to order healthier foods in restaurants with bright lighting compared to dimly lit restaurants. The survey also showed that patrons tended to “eat slower, eat less and enjoy the food more” in dimly lit rooms. People eating in dimly lit rooms were also more likely to choose dessert and food with more calories than healthy choices.

The results are believed to be in direct coloration with people associating lighter spaces with being more alert and thinking about tomorrow and the future. “We feel more alert in brighter rooms and therefore tend to make more healthful, forward-thinking decisions,” says lead author Dipayan Biswas, PhD, University of South Florida.

Lighting has always been associated with creating a mood and influencing customers. Now you have a new tool in your hospitality toolbox to do just this.

So what does this mean for you? Well you can use this to your advantage if you think about who your customers are and what products you have on offer in terms of food and beverages. If you own a dessert café it might be time to swap the 100 watt bulbs to 40 watts, so your customers will sit down and enjoy their decadent sweets guilt free, maybe they stop ordering desserts to share and will even order two! And if you are trying to attract the active-wear crowd with smashed avocado and freshly squeezed juice, well call up the sparky and install more lights and turn them up!

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