Away with the cheap plonk and fetch the truffles! According to science, food that costs a bomb is much more delish.
Paying the bill at an overpriced restaurant might not feel like a pleasure and a joy, but food boffins have proof that actually you love it more than you think you do. Yes, really.
Researchers at the University of Cornell studied the eating habits of 136 people at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet to determine what emotions were triggered when you ate "bargain" food as opposed to higher priced nosh.
They laid on identical buffet spreads - one priced at £4.70 and the other at a bargain-bucket £2.40 a head.
Two groups were invited to dine and enjoyed exactly the same food, but those chowing down on the cheaper nosh felt pretty terrible about it. They reported feelings of guilt (we've all been there) even though they ate the same amount as the other group - more imortantly their level of enjoyment was 11% lower.
Head researcher Brian Wansink, a professor at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management reckons their difference in attitudes applies to the way we enjoy those taste experiences that cost us a bomb. He reckons: “Simply cutting the price of food at a restaurant dramatically affects how customers evaluate and appreciate the food.”
Easy to say when you're not the one picking up the tab, Prof.
So when look at menu prices if the numbers make your eyes water, Professor Wansink says you should take a deep breath, stick your hand in your wallet and pull out the big bucks. He says: “If you're a consumer and want to eat at a buffet, the best thing to do is eat at the most expensive buffet you can afford. You won't eat more, but you'll have a better experience overall.”