8 Tricks Restaurants Use To Make Their Food Look More Appealing

Written by , BA Hons Indrani Karmakar BA Hons linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Last Updated on

We live in a world full of illusions created by those who have mastered the courses of the mind. This might sound artistic and rather vague, but once you begin to unfold how the human mind works, you may be able to see through these tricks too. Let’s take restaurants, for example. When was the last time you sat in a restaurant with blazing lights where you were served food on blue plates? Well, that’s hard to recollect, isn’t it? Probably because restaurants know for a fact that no one likes to eat in bright lights in colors as unappetizing as blue. Here are some of the age-old tricks the food business has played on us that have helped flourish the industry. Read on to see which ones you can connect to.

1. White Enhances Sweet And Black Enhances Savory Taste

White Enhances Sweet And Black Enhances Savory Taste
Image: IStock

Color affects the way we perceive food taste more than we know. To test the theory, a group of volunteers was given dessert on a white and black plate. They reported the one on the white plate to be sweeter. On the other hand, savory dishes tasted better on black plates. This is why restaurants choose black plates to serve spicy or bitter food (1).

2. Red Beverages Taste Stronger

Red Beverages Taste Stronger
Image: IStock

In an experiment, people were given beverages of the same sweetness with varied quantities of additional food colors. While some of them contained more red, others looked lighter. People concluded that the ones with a greater concentration of color tasted stronger. Some even said that it tasted like a natural cherry drink. This is probably why juice manufacturers take their liberty to add as much food coloring as possible.

3. The Shape Of The Chocolate Alters Its Taste

The Shape Of The Chocolate Alters Its Taste
Image: IStock

Most chocolate brands prefer to use their own molds to give shape to them; however, you could have the same chocolate frozen in two different forms, and they would taste different (2). This is because of the shape. If the chocolate is spread on a large surface, the molecules will lay faster and give you the taste instantly. On the other hand, if the chef wants the flavor to unfold slowly in the dish, the shape will be relatively compact, like a cube.

4. Humans Hate Food Dyed In Unnatural Colors

Humans Hate Food Dyed In Unnatural Colors
Image: IStock

You might rethink using artificial colors on food after this! You must have seen chefs add a tinge of red and yellow to make curry look more appetizing, and that is fine. But any color other than what we are used to might make you reject the plate altogether. In an experiment, people were served steaks and fries in very dim lighting. They all liked the taste and texture of the food. Then the lights were brightened, they saw that the steaks were colored blue, and the fries were green. Even though they had tasted the same food, they couldn’t eat another bite, and some even got sick after seeing the colors!

5. Orange And Yellow Cutlery Makes You More Hungry

Orange And Yellow Cutlery Makes You More Hungry
Image: IStock

Now that’s a good tip if you are starting a food business! According to research, the brain releases more serotonin when subjected to the color yellow and orange. This is probably because it is a warm color that sends an optimistic signal to work up your appetite (3).

6. The Shape Of Your Mug Can Affect The Taste Of Your Coffee

The Shape Of Your Mug Can Affect The Taste Of Your Coffee
Image: IStock

That being said, you will surely put more thought into buying mugs the next time. Studies have proven that people judge the coffee’s taste by the mug’s shape and color (4). The coffee served in tulip-shaped cups was more aromatic. Also, the coffee is black in color and looks even darker when served in a white cup. Hence people assume it to be bitter and strong.

7. Blue Cutlery Suppresses Your Appetite

Blue Cutlery Suppresses Your Appetite
Image: IStock

Have you ever been to a restaurant where they served food on blue plates? Well, if they did, they sure ran out of business. However, there is an excellent reason to follow it up. Humans don’t have much food to connect with the color blue (5). If you think about it, except for blueberries, it’s near impossible to find a food with a natural blue hue. So humans associate the color blue with something that is not edible. So if you were given a blue plate, you would eat less than usual. This comes in handy when you are on a diet!

8. Orange Mug Makes Hot Chocolate Taste Better

Orange Mug Makes Hot Chocolate Taste Better
Image: IStock

Don’t believe us? Try it yourself! The color of the cup that holds the beverage has a lot to do with how it influences the taste. Studies show that people prefer orange or cream-colored cups when served with hot chocolate (6). These colors seem to enhance the flavor and acceptance of the drink. However, people also stated that drinking from an orange cup made their beverage taste sweeter. Have you ever tried drinking from different colored cups?

The human mind is still a mystery, and the more you study it, the more it grows on you. So even though most of these tricks are related to the food business, it gives us more to think about how humans are affected by stimuli of all kinds that influence our thought process. Have you observed any of these tricks at restaurants? Let us know in the comments section. Bon appetit!

Was this article helpful?
Indrani Karmakar
Indrani KarmakarSenior Social Writer
Indrani is a writer and artist who likes to add a dash of humor to everything she does. She has two years of experience in writing articles across beauty, health, and lifestyle genres. After graduating in Political Science from Calcutta University, she took a detour into the world of creativity and discovered her knack for social writing, advertising, designing, and doodling.

Read full bio of Indrani Karmakar