Article: How restaurant lighting affects diners
Boelter – read the original article
Our senses are continually working together to create experiences. This is especially evident when it comes to the food we eat and the places we choose to eat in. Research shows the way a plate of food looks has a direct correlation with how a diner perceives its taste. Similarly, a recent study conducted by Cornell University suggests a restaurant’s lighting effects customers’ moods and dining choices.
Here’s where it gets complicated. According to that study, diners are 16 – 24% more likely to order healthy food in well-lit restaurants. That’s because bright light increases a person’s senses and heightens emotions. This same bright light that causes diners to make healthier choices also causes them to perceive stronger flavors.
These benefits both sound great, so why should a restaurant even consider using lower light levels? Because bright light leaves customers feeling alert, dim light conversely allows customers to relax. People dining at dimly lit tables tend to eat at a slower pace and feel more content with their dining experience. While their food choices are statistically less healthy than they might have been having the lighting been brighter, their meal is generally more intimate.
So, how do restaurants find a middle ground? Here are some possible solutions:
- Use natural light to your advantage. A restaurant with a lot of windows becomes very bright during the day. This style of lighting helps customers stay alert, while also boosting their serotonin levels to help maintain a relaxed, happy mood.
- Alter your lighting for the time of day. Lunch and dinner crowds can be very different entities. By keeping your atmosphere brightly lit during lunch hours, you will help customers not only make healthier mid-day choices but will also help make sure they aren’t accidentally over-extending their lunch periods. On the other hand, because dinner is meant to be a more leisurely experience, bring the ambient room lighting down around 6 pm and lean on other forms of light like lamps and candles.
- Create the illusion of a dimly lit room. When it comes to creating experiences, psychology is a constant factor. To create a dining environment that plays off the benefits of both brightly and dimly lit atmospheres, create the illusion of both. Try to keep brightness levels from natural and overhead light consistent throughout the day. Instead of setting fixtures brighter after sundown, add candles to tables that give off enough light to brighten a person’s face. This will add ambiance and give the illusion that the table needed extra light, despite the room being bright already.
- Just like how the way a plate of food looks changes the way it tastes, the way a restaurant feels changes a diner’s mood. By paying attention to your lighting and adding visually comforting tools like flameless candles from Hollowick, your restaurant could become a go-to for patrons who want an overall fantastic experience.
Who is Hollowick?
Hollowick is an industry-leading producer of commercial lighting solutions that can help enhance the atmosphere of your restaurant and boost the experience of your diners. Their innovative flameless candles deliver a lifelike ambiance, complete with a natural flame flicker. The company’s flame technology, battery life, and warranties illustrate its firm commitment to improving customer service, product satisfaction, and the overall guest experience.
The reason why restaurants dim the lights.
The Franklin News Post – read the original article
By RAY COX
The goal here is always to shine the light of knowledge for our readers.
It is a mission not to be taken lightly.
Allow us to illuminate:
Q: Why are expensive restaurants often dimly lit?
Zach Davis, Rocky Mount
A: There has been extensive study and thought spent on this tasty topic.
Start with thoughts offered at the website of the National Restaurant Association, which bills itself as “the largest foodservice trade association in the world.”
“Lighting can set the mood in your restaurant, creating a soothing ambiance that encourages customers to linger or a vibrant atmosphere that helps turn tables,” the advice reads.
Bright and subdued lighting serve different functions.
For instance, at fast-food restaurants, the goal is volume sales. The more customers served in the shortest amount of time, the better.
At so-called “fine dining” establishments, the idea is to keep the customers in their seats, presumably to continue ordering more high-dollar food and drink.
Low lights are also believed to encourage romance.
This brings us to another bright idea.
Consider the wafting aroma of sour cream-cappuccino brownies just emerging from the oven at the neighborhood bakery or the heavenly scents of Chanel No. 5 at the beauty counter in the mall.
Call it “sensory marketing,” a term employed by University of South Florida associate professor of marketing Dipayan Biswas.
“Anything that appeals to our senses is more impactful in sort of influencing our behavior, our choices, and often, it happens at a very subconscious level, so we are not even aware of that,” he said in Mark Schreiner’s 2012 piece at the USF Public Media site.
The professor went on to explain the differences in goals between fast food and a gourmet eatery.
“Usually, more expensive restaurants have more dimly lit environments than, let’s say, a fast food, low-priced restaurant,” Biswas said. “So we would often associate a dim light with something being more expensive, fancier.”
No wonder that entree is priced in such frightful fashion. High-end restaurants can spend a bundle just trying to strike the proper mood.
“Fine-dining restaurants often have more ‘layers’ of light, which include downlights, accent lights, sconces, chandeliers, and cove lights,” the restaurant association article said.
“The more layers within a space, the more dramatic,” the article quoted Anne Kustner Haser of Anne Kustner Lighting Design in Evanston, Illinois, as saying.
To develop the proper ambiance, music (or lack of), artwork, and lighting work in concert.
Studies have shown that different types of lighting can have an impact on the way people perceive their food, according to the marketing professor.
For instance, common sense tells us food that looks good usually tastes better than more pedestrian-appearing fare.
There’s more to it than that, according to one study by the USF professor. Asked to guess the number of calories in a dish, customers in better-lit rooms typically suppose a lower number of calories for the food served.
“So that again provides sort of evidence that our brain is wired in a way where the taste thing is not just formed from the tongue, it plays just a small role, the visual and the smell cues play a big, big role,” he said.
To bolster that point, the scholar found in one of his examinations that most subjects blindfolded with noses plugged could not tell the difference between cola and lemon-lime soda in taste tests.
It’s not just the appearance of food that depends on the right luminosity. Restauranteurs are urged to provide warm, eye-level lighting near bathroom mirrors.
“You want people to look their best, so they’ll stay longer and buy more,” the Illinois lighting expert said.
A 2016 Cornell University study for which Biswas was the lead author found that customers in dimly lit establishments tended to order dishes that were 39 percent more calorie-filled.
On the other hand, in well-lit eateries, diners are 16 percent to 24 percent more likely to make healthier eating choices.
“Process evidence suggests that this phenomenon occurs because ambient light luminance influences mental alertness, which in turn influences food choices,” the paper said.
Inadequate lighting does have certain merits, one being that diners do take their time and eat more slowly.
On the whole, though, most customers are irritated by dingy viewing, especially when it comes to menu reading and restroom finding.
Specialists recommend indirect light fixtures along the perimeters of rooms and small table lamps or candles to help alleviate the issue.
They better hope those measures work. That fine dining crowd can be ruthless.
According to a June 2015 Washington Post food blog post, Tom Sietsema wrote about a lunchtime episode at district steakhouse Mastro’s during which he requested more light to examine writings about the day’s fare.
Wait staff delivered an apparently lame lamp to the table.
The loathing for which this service was greeted could not be kept in the dark.
“The supposed fix glowed with the force of a single birthday candle.”
I am sick of the QR codes for Menus
Slate – Read original article
BY CHRISTINA CAUTERUCCI
Before the pandemic, I’d shudder at the sight of a restaurant table full of people all staring at their phones. I was always happy not to be them or be sitting with them. I always kept the lively conversation flowing at my table. I had good boundaries between my on- and offline lives. But now, restaurants around the world have nonconsensually turned us all into the people I used to judge. I hate it. And it’s time for us to go back.
It all started when outdoor dining resumed after initial waves of mandated closures last spring. Wary of wayward coronaviruses lingering on physical menus, restaurants taped QR codes to their tables and outsourced the act of menu delivery to the diner and her smartphone. This might have made sense when it still seemed possible that the coronavirus was largely spreading through surface transmission.
But we now know that the risk of infection via a contaminated surface is low. In tons of communities across the U.S., vaccination rates are high, and COVID-19 case rates are low. People are attending indoor concerts, grinding at dance clubs, and heading back to the office. And yet, even as we eat and slobber and sneeze in restaurants seated at full capacity, in many of those establishments, we’re still obliged to use our own smartphones to figure out what we want to eat.
Why? Why should we be scared to go back to touching a communal piece of paper when we’re already breathing one another’s theoretically more dangerous air?
The obvious pitfalls of the QR code menu were well worth the aggravation as a temporary public health measure, and I truly feel for restaurant owners and workers who’ve been forced to redesign their businesses every few months in response to changing municipal regulations and public health findings.
But the QR code’s continued ubiquity well into the era of the low surface transmission consensus and the full reopening of public spaces has me worried that digital-only menus will be one pandemic modification that becomes a permanent element of public life. Maybe restaurant owners will welcome the demise of physical menus as a way to eliminate one small but constant expense.
Maybe their employees will relish their newfound freedom from the hassle of reprinting menus every time there’s a new seasonal entree on offer. Maybe it will free servers from patrons who always seem to want to order the one dish that’s out of stock. (It can be easily deleted from a digital menu as soon as it runs out.)
Maybe diners who already love scrolling on their phones at restaurants will be more than happy to check out the menu there, too. Other customers may be content to touch one less surface that might be stained with food or invisibly smeared with another person’s snot.
Not I! I’m tired of having to navigate a new digital platform every time I eat out. I despise spending the first 10 minutes of a social engagement on my phone. I never again want to encounter, as I did last week, a QR code that leads to a website where each of the seven menu pages is a separate PDF that must be clicked, zoomed in on, and closed before moving on to the next.
If you think I’m being overdramatic, let me ask you this: Have you gone to a restaurant with your boomer parents during the pandemic? If not, have you ever had to teach your boomer parents how to set up a Roku or connect their printer to Bluetooth? Same tedious, excruciating, relationship-straining thing.
One of my family members is in his late 70s, loves dining out, and only owns a flip phone with no internet connectivity. He’s already excluded from much of our increasingly digital society; before the pandemic, the American restaurant was one of the few places left where he was entirely comfortable with the mores and knew exactly what was expected of him when he walked through the door. Now, he never knows what to anticipate or what he’ll be asked to do when he goes out for lunch.
Default-digital menus are alienating for other kinds of customers, too. Critics have rightly noted that the cashless trend in food and retail is prohibitive for customers who don’t have bank accounts.
Likewise, for a customer who doesn’t have a smartphone or robust data plan—including about one-quarter of adults with household incomes below $30,000 per year—a QR code menu means having to ask for special accommodations she never used to need. Ditto foreign travelers, whose smartphones may not work on U.S. soil. QR codes also open the door for easily executed scams, malware, and digital surveillance.
There is no good reason to add an exclusionary, risky, socially deadening digital step to an analog system that was working just fine before the pandemic hit.
Some restaurants have taken it even further, digitizing not just the menu but the entire dining experience. Two months ago, I ate outdoors at a Basque restaurant that used to have fantastic service on its outdoor patio. This time, it required diners to page through an extensive website that held its menu options.
We had to place food and drink orders on an online platform and punch in our credit card information on our tiny phone keyboards with our big, dumb fingers. Then, we had to wait for a notification on our phones to tell us our drinks were ready to pick up indoors. When we decided to order a second bottle of cider midway through the meal, we had to place a whole new order online. It felt more like ordering takeout or shopping on Amazon than dining out.
It is possible that I socialize in some kind of Luddite bubble, but I’ve only ever heard from one person who loves the new QR code restaurant experience. My colleague, a single woman in her 30s in D.C., said she likes the restaurants that now require customers to view the menu, order, and pay via QR code, fully eliminating most of a server’s responsibilities.
(This mode of operation may make sense for restaurants that have faced staffing shortages since reopening. I will happily pay higher prices at an adequately staffed restaurant that pays a living wage.) Since each diner orders and pays on her own, my colleague said, it’s made it easier to dine with groups of friends who might have otherwise struggled with splitting a check, and it’s preempted awkward conversations with guys on dates about who’s getting the bill.
I suppose I can see where she’s coming from. During a bad date or a social interaction that’s reached its natural end, the wait to receive and pay the check can feel interminable. But people don’t visit sit-down restaurants because they want a meal marked by extreme convenience and speed. As several restaurant workers have told me during the pandemic, diners come to restaurants for hospitality.
For me, the pleasure of poring over a physical menu is so integral to the experience of dining out that I made my friends mimic it during an early-pandemic dinner over Zoom. We’ve all just had the most isolated, screen-mediated year of our lives. If there’s an opportunity for us to make a familiar social interaction more tangible and human, and less coldly transactional, let’s take it.
Read original article – Las Vegas Nightclub Bottle Service
What Is Bottle Service?
Las Vegas nightclub bottle service usually includes a private table for guests which includes mixers of the guest’s choice such as orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and soda water. Bottle service is reserved through a VIP host who will make sure that guests have a good night. Your reservation will also include a model cocktail waitress who will serve you all night, a security guard that oversees your section, and a busser who will keep your table clean and replace ice and used glassware. Learn more by reading our planning guide.
How Do I Reserve Las Vegas Nightclub Bottle Service?
Reserving Las Vegas nightclub bottle service is as simple as contacting a direct club host and letting them know what you need and when you need it. In as little as one or two e-mails (or a phone call), you’ll have made a reservation directly with a lead host who works at your desired nightclub(s). Feel free to ask them about bottle service pricing, bottle service menu, and table location availability.
How Much Does Las Vegas Nightclub Bottle Service Cost?
Las Vegas bottle service and table minimums are established one of three ways, or through a combination of all:
- By Number Of People. “You must spend $__ per number of people at your table.” Which typically means one bottle per 3 people. On average bottles cost between $350 and $575 per bottle.
- Supply and demand. If a club is very busy because of a holiday weekend, special performer, or….. because it’s just busy, they will obviously want to sell table space to those who are willing to pay the most for it. In these cases, and especially for more in-demand locations within the club (dancefloor tables, etc), pricing will fluctuate separately from the size of your group. “Dancefloor table starts at $5,000 tonight.”
- Location. This goes for both what club you decide to visit and where your table is located within the venue. At “mega-clubs” such as XS, Omnia, and Hakkasan, table minimums will be higher than smaller clubs like Marquee, Tao, and Jewel. Also note that the closer your table is to the dance floor, the higher your table minimum will be.
- Additional Costs. Minimums are in addition to tax and gratuity, which typically is 8.1% and 20%, plus a Live Entertainment Tax of 10% (if applicable, depending on the club, or special event).
Groups looking to share Las Vegas nightclub bottle service can connect with others on our split a table page in our forums. If table service isn’t in your trip’s budget, we’ve got you covered, sign up for our FREE guest list at many of the top Las Vegas nightclubs.
Costs of Bottle Service vs Just Going To The Bar.
For those of us who like to meticulously break down everything by the numbers (you know who you are), the average 750 ml bottle of alcohol will pour (roughly) 17 1.5 ounces (standard pour) shots. Whether you or your waitress pours standard pour drinks is another story, but that’s the basic math.
If you average $17 per drink at the bar (with tip), multiplied by the 17 in a bottle, that means each bottle would (theoretically) cost about $300 for an equivalent number of similar drinks.
On top of that, factor in savings on cover charges, which would have been $30 – 45 per person. So in an example case where three people opted for a table with a *one bottle minimum, that means they would have spent about $400 on cover charges and drinks at the bar vs $450 + tax and gratuity for a table, waitress, and convenience.
Thinking of it in terms of this can help the analytical amongst us attach a cost for the convenience and experience that comes with bottle service. *Don’t forget what we said about supply and demand. One bottle minimums do happen, but not if the demand outweighs the supply of tables.
How Do You Get A Special Bottle Presentation?
If you’ve ever seen one of the very conspicuous bottle service presentations where waitresses are riding on bussers’ backs, drums are being played, the DJ is mic’ing the crowd, sparklers, names are on the big screen, etc, that’s considered a “special” bottle presentation. While you’ll usually see this with more expensive champagne purchases, in terms of who (or what minimum spend) gets this, that’s completely dependent on the club, your relationship with the host, and what you actually ordered. If you would like a special bottle service presentation, simply ask your host as you’re making the reservation.
When Do I Want Bottle Service and At What Las Vegas Clubs?
Most all Las Vegas nightclubs have a noticeably superior level of customer service — especially when compared to other cities (hey…service is kind of our thing), so they’re all somewhat equal in that respect. Since they’re all mostly the same, it’s better to focus more on: when and why do you want bottle service.
It goes without saying that having a place to sit if you want to is better than being forced to stand, and having an area all to your friends is better than not. Add in your own waitress, busser, security, and the feeling of superiority over the poor wretched sore-footed masses, and the advantages are clear. That’s the why.
As far as the when, the best advice is to keep in mind that having a table really does kind of commit you to the one club for at least a couple of hours, so it’s best to reserve at a place you know you’ll want to be (you like the club, the crowd, the performer, or just because you want to be there).
What If The Bottle Minimum Is Ridiculous For My Sized Group?
“Wait. So two people are supposed to drink three bottles?!” This goes back to our original statement on supply and demand, whereas the supply of tables and demand for them, unfortunately, doesn’t much care if you’re just visiting town with your friend or significant other. If you guys want bottle service, you’ll have to suck it up and pay the going rate. Fortunately, LasVegasNightclubs.com has a great new feature in our forums that allows people to post when they are visiting and find other good people to split the tables with. Check that out here.
Why Is Las Vegas Nightclub Bottle Service More Fun?
You get your own private table why you watch your favorite DJ perform. You have your own space for the entire night. As a guy, it makes it easier to pick up girls, and as a girl, a table helps keep the guys away. Plus you have the ability to sit down. Table service is more upscale and makes it easier for everyone to notice you.
Your table will have its own very attractive model cocktail server, along with a busser who will keep your area clean and a security guard for you in your section that works just for you. With a table, there is no reason for you to have to go to the bar and order drinks.
Last Minute Las Vegas Nightclub Bottle Service Tips:
The more you can spend, the better the table location.
Plan on spending more than expected. You will probably spend about 1.5x more than planned due to meeting new friends.
If you are the person paying and in charge of your table, make sure to let your server know that you are the only person allowed to order anything.
Make sure to ask your host about any bottle specials.
Don’t forget to tip your busser!
For guys: If you want girls at your table, ask your security guard for girls and slip him a $20. Once the girls arrive make sure to offer them a drink. If you don’t, they will most likely leave the table.