A study suggests a 'good-looking' waitress makes food taste better. Picture from Pixabay.
Forget top chefs and using the finest ingredients – restaurants trying to impress male diners should simply hire more attractive waitresses.

Many men rate their food more highly when it is served by someone pretty – often before they have even tasted it, a study found. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, women are far less superficial, with the physical appearance of waiting staff having no bearing on their enjoyment of the meal.

The study of more than 600 people found men were more likely to think their food was delicious if it had been brought by a well made-up woman with her hair down, rather than tired-looking with bad skin. 

Shown pictures of attractive women and given a glass of orange juice, men thought the drink was sweeter and more likeable, suggesting a ‘spill-over effect' between looking at someone attractive and sensory perception. 

Picture from Pixabay

When they had been shown the menu, a pretty woman raised men's expectations of a dining experience even before sitting down to eat their meal. On the other hand, the survey of both sexes found women to be less shallow and far more concerned by the restaurant's location and noisiness.

The findings, by the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in Canada, states: "The presence of physically attractive individuals can affect consumers' expectations about their consumption experience which then influences taste perceptions." 

But restaurants should beware that a good-looking waitress can make the food taste worse if it is bad. 

Men given a less desirable vegetable spread disliked it more when looking at a beautiful woman, perhaps because of the mismatch. 

The authors, led by Dr Lily Lin, adds: "When the server is attractive, good food tastes better but bad food tastes worse." 

The first-of-its-kind study, published in the Journal of Retailing, concludes: "To our knowledge no work has examined whether this cue has an effect on sensory perceptions like taste – an outcome that is of obvious interest to restaurants since repeat consumption is less likely after an unsatisfactory dining experience."

© Daily Mail