Standing out from the rest of the competition is one of the biggest challenges restaurant owners face.

It always comes down to which restaurant has come up with the smartest way to attract customers and keep them coming back.

How do you do this?

In a study published in the Journal of Texture Studies, it was discovered that merely showing pictures of food is no longer enough to produce that mouthwatering sensation that triggers people’s appetites. Although most animals salivate at the thought or anticipation of food, researchers found that it is entirely different for humans.

According to scientists, a visual representation is not real enough to convince the brain that food is imminent.

This is the reason why, when it comes to people, a simple picture of food is not enough to create a craving for it. In fact, even if the food has been well served and tastes wonderful, people won’t be tempted to eat it if it smells nasty.

What does this mean for everyone in the food business including restaurants and cafes? It suggests that the usual marketing strategies cafes and restaurants use would be much more effective if the sense of smell is taken into account.

It’s called ambient scenting and it has shown extremely good results for restaurants and cafes worldwide.

How can a scent increase restaurant sales?

Try to remember what appeals to you the most when you get home at dinner time. What is it that excites you about a meal, even before you actually sit at the dining table? It’s the smell of the food in the air, right?

The taste of food is almost entirely influenced by the scent which accompanies it. Most of the time, even before we actually see or taste a meal, its smell somehow tells us how good it is.

That’s how powerful scent is, making it possible for a custom scent to actually help increase food sales up to 300%.

Why? That’s because scents can stimulate a person’s appetite. The smell of our favourite foods tends to make our mouths water, increasing the chances of us deciding to buy some.

For example, the scent of fresh bread or freshly baked muffins in a supermarket can make people feel the hunger since the freshly baked goods are right there, people decide to buy some.

Freshly baked bread and a cup of coffee

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Images by mammela

The same thing goes when people smell an aromatic coffee scent released near the doorway of a cafe. The scent can invite people who were initially just passing by and at the same time, encourage diners to stay longer and buy more.

So, restaurants can benefit greatly if they include smell into their ambient. Increasing people’s appetites is just what a restaurant needs to boost their business.

What else can ambient scenting do for a restaurant?

There are various reasons for choosing the restaurant’s scents very thoughtfully.

Connecting with the customers

People prefer places that smell pleasantly. That’s because we tend to associate scents with specific locations, things, and experiences.

An example would be smelling something from your childhood. We tend to experience a flood of memories after smelling something that reminds us of that specific time of our lives. The olfactory dimension helps us form lasting impressions.

This is why many restaurants have started to embrace ambient-scenting to connect with customers better.

The pleasant and trademark scent of a restaurant gets associated with the pleasant experience of that place and it gets imprinted in people’s memories.

In other words, it turns satisfied customers into returning customers and that is one of the pillars of a successful business, especially for restaurants.

Masking up the malodors

While it can keep your customers craving for your specialities, the power of smell can also drive them away. That’s why you need to be conscious and careful of the scents people are exposed to inside your restaurant.

When people experience a malodor somewhere, they are reluctant to go back. That’s because smell and cleanliness are closely associated.

So, if your restaurant has a foul-smelling restroom, customers who have experienced it will consider your restaurant a “dirty” place and will no longer consider coming back.

Your customers won’t remember whether they felt the bad smell from the restroom or the kitchen – they will only remember that your restaurant smells bad.

That’s another reason why restaurants need ambient scenting. It’s imperative to keep malodors in areas such as the restroom and smoking areas neutralised.

This also includes employee-only, off-limits areas where the trash or food scraps are kept or thrown away as the odours could waft inside the dining area.

The issue with old-school solutions

To control malodors, restaurants often go to inefficient aerosol sprays for a solution. However, these old-school solutions have a tendency to add more to the problem.

If someone heavy-handed used a can of aerosol, the intensity of the scent can actually end up distracting the diners — the sensitive ones in particular.

Many of these products have also been discovered to contain allergens and other harmful volatile organic compounds.

Clean and modern designed restaurant

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Images by Jeremy Oakley

More and more, restaurant owners today are enjoying all the wonders that ambient scenting can do for their business. There are ambient-scenting technologies today, so advanced that they allow restaurant owners to digitally control the level of a scent’s intensity with precision.

While some restaurants prefer to let their meals do the scenting for them, there is no doubt that ambient scenting can do a whole lot of other wonders for your business.

It just might be the smartest move you can make to provide the best dining experience for your customers, stand out from the rest, and stay competitive on the restaurant business scene.

Fresh & Clean can create a custom ambient scenting for your restaurant business by using fine fragrances to ensure the one of a kind experience for your customers while eliminating bad odours.

Call us today and gain satisfied and returning customers with carefully chosen scents for your restaurant.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Images by Katja Hasselkus