The Science of Buffets

Eating takes up a lot of time in the average person’s life. We eat to live, but we also eat for enjoyment and for social experience. People enjoy having a broad selection of different foods at an event so they can select their favourites, which is why the concept of the buffet has become so popular. It’s similar to grand royal feasts of ancient times— except that today, anyone can enjoy a buffet because there are so many available at different price points. Find out what scientific research shows about the way people enjoy different kinds of buffets.

Price Cut

Three researchers decided to find out if people who pay more for a buffet enjoy the food more than those who pay less. They conducted an experiment on an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet in New York City. Over the course of two weeks, they supplied fliers for the buffet to 139 people. Some of the people received fliers with a coupon for an $8 buffet meal; others received a coupon for $4 for the buffet.

Tasty Ratings

After each person ate at the restaurant, the researchers collected their responses about the food. Everyone involved in the study ate the same food at the same place. However, those who paid the $8 amount seemed to enjoy their food more. They rated the pizza as 11 percent higher than the guests who paid less did. In addition to rating the pizza lower, some of the people who paid just $4 claimed that each extra slice of pizza they ate tasted worse than the first.

Higher Cost, Better Taste

The study revealed what researchers suspected— people expect food that costs more to taste better. If they didn’t have to pay much for their food, they view it as cheap and not very good. If they paid more, even if it is the exact same food, their brain and their expectations tricks them into thinking the fare is finer. Buffets face a challenge— pricing the food low enough to entice consumers and high enough to ensure that guests will appreciate their meal.

The Power of a Phrase

The low prices pose a challenge for buffet owners as well, because the “all you can eat” model can sometimes be viewed as a challenge by guests. They may intentionally overeat, trying to get their money’s worth; and as a result they eat into the restaurant’s profit margin. Instead of calling themselves “all you can eat” buffets, these establishments often switch to the phrase “all you care to eat,” which is less intense and more focused on choice rather than consumption.

Excellent Catering in Singapore

Thanks to Eatz Catering, a Halal caterer in Singapore, you can count on superb flavours and delicious dishes whether you choose the budget-friendly options or the most luxurious menus. Our buffet selections include authentic buffets from different cultures, mini buffets for small parties, wedding buffets, and healthier choice buffets for those who are counting calories or watching weight. From premium buffets to BBQ buffets, you’re sure to find a tasty spread at the right price. Contact us today to order food for your next event.