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Taste and Smell

If taste and smell didn’t exist…well you would probably be out of business! But since the stars aligned and we were given the privilege of taste and smell, let’s rejoice and learn a little bit more about the science behind it. I’m sure you’ve noticed that sometimes when you have a cold, you can’t taste or smell, or have very limited taste. How come?

First, let’s explore how taste works. The taste buds on your tongue detect five categories: sweet, spicy, bitter, sour, and umami, and everyone has between 5,000 and 10,000 taste buds. Each taste bud has special sensory cells that, when stimulated, send messages to the brain to identify which flavor is being detected. The sensation of detecting a flavor is actually a combination of smell and taste because when you chew, you force air through your nasal passage in order to breathe. The proteins in the hair in your nose send the messages to the brain that help us identify flavors.

So, is smell or taste more important? The answer is a combination of both. Scents can trigger food memories and trigger a food decision, so if your food smells bad (we hope it doesn’t!), people are more likely to not try that food. Many bakeries use vents to pump the oven scents to the front room where customers are ordering because the smell encourages people to impulse buy whatever food item they smell.

Keep in mind a combination of taste and smell is the best way to enhance a customer’s experience! This combination will hopefully establish a food memory that can be triggered just by walking into your restaurant and smelling or tasting your food, and keep customers visiting time and time again.

2019-12-12 00:00:00
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