Study Finds Cooks Make Tastier Food When They Can See Diners

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
6 PHOTOS
Study Finds Cooks Make Tastier Food When They Can See Diners
See Gallery
Study Finds Cooks Make Tastier Food When They Can See Diners

A new study reveals that cooks make better food when they can see their customers. Read on to learn more details about the study.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at Harvard Business School and University College London conducted the study in a cafeteria using four scenarios: diners could see cooks, cooks could see diners, both parties could see each other and neither could see the other. The dining area and kitchen were equipped with iPads and videoconferencing without sound or interaction.

Image Credit: Getty Images

When cooks could see diners, the customer satisfaction went up 10 percent, and when cooks and diners could see each other, customer satisfaction went up 17.3%. Seeing customers made the cooks more willing to do a better job.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Researchers recalled another study where customers either waited in line to pick up a sandwich as it was being prepared or bypassed the line to pick up a preordered sandwich. In similar fashion, customers who saw their food being prepared rated the service higher, even though they were made to wait.

From a broader perspective, greater transparency between producers and consumers in environments outside a restaurant could create value. "Just by opening up the work environment, you could improve value and quality," Chia-Jung Tsay, an assistant professor at University College London, told the Harvard Business Review.

Image Credit: Getty Images

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

A new study reveals that cooks make better food when they can see their customers.

Researchers at Harvard Business School (HBS) and University College London conducted a two-week experiment with four scenarios at a real cafeteria. In one scenario, cooks and diners could not see each other. The second scenario had only the diners able to see cooks, and the third scenario had only the cooks able to see diners. Cooks and diners were visible to each other in the fourth scenario. Researchers timed the food preparation and took surveys about the service and food.

When cooks could see diners, the customer satisfaction of the food went up 10 percent. When cooks and diners could see each other, customer satisfaction shot up 17.3% and the service became 13.2% faster.

Ryan W. Buell, an assistant professor at HBS, explained to the Harvard Business Review that "seeing the customer can make employees feel more appreciated, more satisfied with their jobs and more willing to exert effort." Not only did the customer's perception of the quality of food improve, but the food was objectively better. For example, researchers noticed that cooks made eggs to order more often rather than make them in advance (and often overcooking them).

When asked if the stress of being watched while cooking was a factor, the researchers responded that many of the cooks said they loved seeing their customers. "We found that reciprocity plays a much bigger role than stress or accountability. This is more about gratitude—which is a powerful force," explained Tami Kim, a doctoral student at HBS, to the Harvard Business Review.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about the study's findings.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Best Bites by AOL and receive delicious recipes delivered to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

People are Reading

Search Recipes