International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Chocolate or Succulent Chocolate The impact of Sensory Descriptions on Choice
Martin Amsteus, Felicia Liljegren, Sandra Markovic, Malin Månsson

The purpose of this study is to test the impact of sensory descriptions on customer propensity to select among appetizers, main courses, and desserts in restaurants. It is proposed that sensory descriptions lead to decreased customer propensity to select an appetizer, unchanged customer propensity to select a main dish, and increased customer propensity to select a dessert. A field experimental design was used to test the hypotheses on menus through Chi-square on a total of 1367 measures. The results show, in line with the hypotheses, that sensory descriptions have a statistically significant negative impact on propensity to select an appetizer; virtually no impact on the propensity to select a main course; and a positive but not statistically significant impact on the propensity to select a dessert. The results problematize the notion that sensory descriptions make customers choose a specific dish from a restaurant’s menu. The results are limited to the field setting in that original menus were used as controls. Managers may want to be cautious when deploying sensory descriptions on appetizers and more generous when deploying them on desserts.

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