Cultura/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Apparently, one way to improve your restaurant experience is by making eye contact with the chef before placing your order.
A small Harvard research project reveals that cooks who can observe their guests dished out markedly better meals than when customers were out of their sight.
The findings were culled after Harvard Business School doctoral student Tami Kim and Chia-Jung Tsay, an assistant professor at University College London, set up four successive experiments in a working cafeteria over a two-week period.
The experiments included diners and cooks who couldn’t view one another; diners able to see the cooks; cooks able to see the diners; and finally, diners and cooks making eye contact. Following each meal, diners rated their experience.
Kim and Tsay found that although customer satisfaction increased by ten percent when the cook could see the guests in the dining area, satisfaction went up 17.3 percent and service was 13.2 percent faster when they were able to see one another.
They attributed the improved experience to chefs feeling more motivated and inspired by seeing patrons. Still, not all restaurants should begin breaking down kitchen walls just yet since the researchers acknowledged that much more comprehensive study is necessary.
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