Eating out is not only about the way food tastes, but a wider experience bringing together one’s different senses. Due to the development in the food industry, restaurateurs are paying more attention to the overall experience clients have when dining out. Because of this there are new ways to enhance our smell, feel, taste, sight and hearing senses.
It is well known that the way food is presented plays a huge role in how we taste. The overall presentation of food is a big part of the dining experience and we truly do ‘eat with our eyes’. Imagine having green ketchup or red chocolate cake? Mixing the senses can sometimes be confusing and create an unexpected and interesting taste experience.
The texture of food is also important when eating. For many of us, having a bite of something with an unpleasant texture puts us off from eating the whole dish, whereas having a pleasant texture can make the food more enjoyable. We associate crisps with crunchiness and ice cream with cold. If they had a different texture, we might not connect the taste with the actual food.
It is also shown that sound plays a role in eating. While this might seem weird for some, it is true. Listening to the ocean sounds when enjoying a Mediterranean meal can give you are more fulfilling experience, than having Mexican music when eating Italian food.
Although taste is the most important sense when eating, smell also plays an important role. The combination of the smell and taste senses enable us to experience the real flavour of the food we’re eating, and without this, no dining experience could be complete.
As stated before, restaurateurs are fully aware of the way senses can be used to create a memorable dining experience.
One of the restaurants changing the way we use our senses is Dans Le Noir, which gives its customers the opportunity to dine in dark. Because of the lack of sight, the guests have to concentrate more on the actual taste, smell and texture of the meal.
For those of you who like the idea of playing with all the senses and seeing how it affects the way you experience food, a visit to The Fat Duck might give you an insight on what the senses can offer.
Scent marketing is a growing trend in the food industry. This refers to creating a scent in order to give the customers an overall experience that is connected to the venue. An example of this is coffee shops using a coffee scent in order to attract customers. Some companies providing this kind of service are Aromatise, Ambius and Sixth scents.
So the next time you eat out, remember concentrate in using on all of your senses.