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Art and Cuisine

By quenboni83 Jun 01, 2014 3540 Words
Food, Society & Culture
Due on the 23rd of January 2013
(Critical Literature Review)
How can art and new trends enhance a meal experience in restaurants?

1.0 Critical Literature Review
As far as I am concerned, I dedicated my “Critical Literature Review” to the representation of arts into the meal experience delivery as I consider the food industry as being a way to thrive know-how through ages and fulfilling human’s physiological need (Maslow, 1970). In the same way as paintings or even poems, culinary creations communicate through art. Therefore, food composition represents limitless combinations of ingredients which ask to be discovered. This is the reason why I selected “the emotional dimensions of food in society” as a specific topic.

1.1 Introduction
Within today’s industry, a meal is no longer considered only through the prism of consumerism but also as a work of art (Hyde, 1999) which delivers a cognitive experience. High quality standards in terms of food and service are to be found in restaurants to drive customers away and create an “out of the ordinary” experience (McLaurin & McLaurin, 2000; Baker, 1986). Moreover, the competitive advantage is hard to keep and to be preserved on the long term due to the increased development of restaurants based on something unique. As a result, in order to preserve it, restaurants must nuture “a unique set of skills and resources” in a way that competitors cannot imitate (Day and Wensley, 1988; Barney, 1991; Rumlet, 1991; Mahoney and Pandian, 1992, cited by Powers and Hahn, 2002). Although some restaurants’ reputation are built upon celebrities’ success, such as Michael Jordan’s restaurants in Chicago and Washington or either influenced by well-known Chefs’ career path such as Alain Ducasse (Hanefors & Mossberg, 2003a), some others get “out of the box” by offering a unique meal experience. However, to reach an extraordinary level consumption either the object of

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consumption or the mode of consumption must be atypical. However, the anaylsis of external factors which also contributes to consumer’s meal experience such as: advertising literature, media implication (…..) will be beyond our research scope. The present study will discuss the way in which meal service is valued through design and different practices which are used in order to delight customers’ senses. All those different practices will be then presented as key drivers to restaurant uniqueness and hence reputation. Additionally, this research will be illustrated along with contemporary industry examples as well as customers’ experience statements. Then, in order to critically analyse the effect of senses upon meal experience, different authors’ theories will be compared and will assist customers’ viewpoint in determining whether or not physical settings which come along with a meal would contribute to an extraordinary success. Concretely, this study aims to define, whether or not, food is sufficient to drive customers into a memorable culinary cruise.

1.2 Meal Experience as a Personalized Service

Expectations have changed and distinctions between eating for pleasure and eating from necessity have been drawn from Finkelstein (1989) and Warde & Mardens (2000a) recent study. Food alone is no longer sufficient to design the entirety of the meal (Watz, 2008). According to Noone et al., (2007), the meal experience is a “linear three stage process”, the pre-process (it starts when the guest is being seated), the in-process (begins with guest receiving food) and the post-process (begins with the guest requesting the bill and ends once the payment made). In a matter of quantifying guest satisfaction, operationalizing the meal experience in three stages is the appropriate solution. However, as critically analysed by Pantelidis and Marée (2009) an entire meal experience cannot be summarized as merely a process which starts by entering in the restaurant and ending while paying the bill. At this point, authors strengthened Noone et al., (2007) theory by adding that a great memory delivered through a meal experience always stays with a customer.

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An outstanding and unique consumers’ experience depends on his interactions with atmospherics (or servicescapes) created by the service provider. According to Bitner (1992), the servicescape is in a way a “man-made” physical surrounding which may contribute to customers’ desire to stay. In restaurant industry, composing a dining experience is a matter of balancing emotional and visual settings in order to ideally match the culinary elaboration. “Alinéa Restaurant”, established in Chicago (USA) is run by a talented team which particularly aims to respond to those contemporary expectations. This creative team provides the best experience ever to their customers by carrying out a show while serving desserts straight upon the tablecloth (Handout 1). Achatz (2007), executive chef and owner at “Alinéa Restaurant ***”, argues that, what he stands for is breaking down the monotony not only of food technique, preparation or presentation but also the emotional response that wells you up as a consumer. As a consequence, any meal experience is the result of a mutual trust between the restaurateur and his consumer (Gupta & Vajic, 2000). When it comes to customer’s experience about Alinéa Restaurant, as cited in “Trip Advisor Official Website” (2013), some comments reveal that the delivery of a meal experience through unique practices has been successfully carried out as some guests commented “thanks for ruining future restaurant experiences”. A meal experience is also associated with feelings of pleasure, and may be allocated to a surprising experience which makes the customer say “WOW”. Besides, the meal experience could also be characterized by an emotional intensity coming from delight and triggered by unusual events (Hanefors & Mossberg, 2003b). Every single day, throughout the world, countless consumers visit hundreds of thousands restaurants. Such a limitless number of different restaurants may lead restaurateurs to face obstacles in terms of competitiveness. As a consequence, and in an effort to overcome this problem, restaurateurs use different ways to draw customers’ attention by using creativity in their patronage. Indeed, these days, the customers’ perception of an extraordinary meal experience may not necessarily start with their palate but also through the use of servicescapes as a delightful artistic support. According to Christian Sinicropi, executive head chef at “La Palme D’Or **”, cited in Le Figaro (2010), “the product feeds the

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belly, while its design feeds the soul”. This imaginative chef combines three different specializations: high standard cuisine, poetry and ceramist, which are all robustly linked together to delight a customer through “pleasure and emotion”. By combining them all, he thoroughly thinks that any consumers will be driven into an unforgettable culinary journey. As a principal designing element, Chrisitan Sinicropi puts forward his homecraft plates which come along with his “Two Michelin Star” meals. For instance, “L’Arbre Magique” created exclusively for Tim Burton in 2010 (Handout 2) as well as the “Autumn Collection” firstly released on Facebook in November 2013 (Handouts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Referring to the comments given on Trip Advisor Official Website (2013) about “La Palme d’Or” restaurant, in addition of being delighted by the experience coming from the food itself, the guests were rather surprised by the “colorful and artistic” appearance of ceramic plates used along with a customised service. Although food quality and food type are identified as significant variables in restaurant choice, servicescapes are nonetheless importantly relevant and can be differential elements in consumers’ ultimate decision to be the guest of one restaurant over others (Auty, 1992).

1.3 FAMM : Meal Experience Theories Evolution
However, other elements constituting the meal experience are to be taken into consideration. The Five Aspects Meal Model (FAMM) represents several steps to be considered before a consumer can enjoy a meal. Based on the “Michelin Guide” the department of culinary arts and meal science portrays the meal experience through the FAMM, product, meeting, atmosphere, room and management control system (Gustafsson, 2004a). Therefore, restaurateurs should bear in mind that, nowadays, people are principally looking for experience which goes beyond the food itself, and would be likely to use their restaurant as an arena to relax, socialize and enjoy (Finkelstein, 1989; Warde and Martens, 2000; Andersson and Mossberg, 2004). In a nutshell, a restaurant visit does not only represent a vital need to be fulfilled but also a social and cultural desire in terms of certain wishes and mood expectations

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(Gustafsson et al., 2006). Finally, the ultimate aim of the FAMM is to generate maximum guest’s satisfaction in every situation and preferably even greater than expected (Kelly & Le Bel, 1995). “Every individual live their own meal experiences in a dining outlet or at home” (Warde and Martens, 2000b). At that point, theorists who reflected upon the “meal experience” are not totally in agreement with each other. According to Lillicrap et al., (2006) and Cousins et al., (2002) the meal experience stands for 5 aspects that affect customers: food and beverage on offer, the level of service, the level of cleanliness and hygiene, the perceived value for money and the atmosphere of the establishment. Whereas earlier on time, Davis et al., (1998) considered 6 attributes of the meal experience: social, business, convenience and time, atmosphere and service, price and menu as the key factors to a successful meal experience. Therefore, Andersson and Mossberg (2004) also shared a different viewpoint upon this same topic, standing for: cuisine, restaurant interior, service, company and others guests as the drivers of a competitive meal experience. Taking into consideration all the above definitions of what would best describe a meal experience, it turns out that every author has his own approach to a “meal experience”. However, by considering them all, it allows to have a better understanding of what meal experience stands for. Therefore, as Davis et al., 2012 highlight in their recent study, the meal experience has to be tailored to the requirements and expectations of individuals. In order to ensure a meal experience, the target segment has to be clearly defined and communicated to customers in an effort of attracting the right people and respond to their expectations accordingly.

1.4 Atmosphere: Culinary and Interior Design
A recent study conducted by Hansen et al., (2005) describes that restaurant interior design usually falls into five different physical settings: location, décor, interior, color and furniture. Combining them all as a totality and creating a harmony will give birth to a strong improving factor in terms of meal experience called “atmosphere” (Davis et al., 1998b). By way of contrast, Campbell-Smith (1967),

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much earlier, came up with a theory of the atmosphere constituted by 5 different elements: Staff, Restaurant Nationality, The Room 1 (shape and size, type of seat booths, layout of seating etc…), The Room 2 (temperature, noise levels, comfort, cleanliness, colour scheme), The Room 3 (table appointments).

Figure 1: Elements constituting the atmosphere

Source: Campbell-Smith, G. (1967). “Marketing of the Meal Experience : A fundamental approach”. London: University of Surrey.

However, theorists agreed in underlining the ambience as guest’s first impression as well as considering the combination of all factors as a successful atmospheric outcome. Within today’s industry, atmosphere emanating from the interior design of a restaurant tends to highly contribute to customer’s experience and satisfaction. In an opposite manner, Walter (2008) describes that the most important aspect constituting a meal experience was the social interaction. According to his theory, the physical settings tend to be less important and less perceptible for the guests. Nevertheless, he also supports servicescapes as part of an overall meal experience. As a consequence, an appropriate design must be chosen relevantly in accordance with the product concept as well as style of service in order to convey the right message to the guests (Jones and Merricks, 1994). In other words, design is a silent language in communication as it is perceived

through senses (Kotler, 1973). Whilst some theorists consider “atmosphere” as the interaction Page 6 of 17

between people and the physical surroundings (Heide and Gronhaug, 2006), some others rather regard “atmosphere” as an “ambient condition” which will invite uncomfortable guests to respond less positively to employees’ interactions and vice versa (Bitner, 1992). In other words, the atmosphere is a way for the customers to feel comfortable and at-ease (Gustafsson, 2004b). Similarly with Gustafsson’s above theory (2004), Wakefield and Blodgett (1996) cited in Jang and Namkung (2009) deem that the design is not only important through its aesthetic aspect, but also through the impact it might have on customer’s duration to stay in the restaurant. As a consequence, the design may impact on customer’s overall experience and enhance his satisfaction accordingly. For instance, music is one of the stimuli in any restaurants’ settings which influence positively customer’s meal experience through emotions (Baker et al., 1992; Hui et al., cited in Jang and Namkung). However, as being an intangible setting constituted by a set of physical elements, atmosphere can only be perceived through individual’s senses which are known to differentate an individual from another in terms of taste. As a result, in order to satisfy the majority of its guests, a restaurant design has to stick with current trends. Arising from the growth of the technology, the “psycho-tasting” experience has recently been wellknown and highly respected by those who had the chance to participate. “Ultraviolet”, owned by Paul Pairet is the first restaurant attempting to unite food with multi-sensorial technologies in order to create a fully immersive dining experience. The main idea which comes out from the “Ultraviolet” experience is “being inside will give a feeling of being outside” (Ultraviolet Official Website, 2013). All the external parameters such as: odor, video projection, music as well as style of service build up your preconceived idea of what you are going to taste. The aim of the experience is to offer a bold and exclusive dining experience that engages all the senses to create the ultimate luxury: “Emotion”. According to Paul Pairet, cited in “Ultraviolet Official Website” (2013), “food is ultimately about emotion and emotion goes beyond taste”. As shown on the Handout 8 and 9, atmospherics resonate with the food which is being served to create emotion and have a direct impact on customer’s experience

(Kotler, 1973).
Moreover, Billing et al., (2008) conducted a study which reckons table settings and utensils as the Page 7 of 17

major influencing factor of guest experience. But consciously, the authors decided to be even more accurate in their “meal experience” evaluation by choosing the wine glass as a focus. “Glasses communicate the principles of wine to the human senses” (Ibid). As a result, the interaction between the wine which is being poured and the glass will radically change guest’s experience. However, in their research paper, authors regard “design” beyond the artistic scope and define it as a business tool which aims to create growth and profit, breaking up the idea of art as being a pleasurable and non profit-making factor (Ibid).

1.6 Conclusion
Working creatively on a specific meal experience involving food, utensils, interior design, style of service brings together a range of different areas of knowledge. The present study demonstrated how those features, conveyed as a totality, are perceived through nowadays customers’ eyes. Amongst authors who studied “meal experience” have appeared different interpretations. As previously defined, an “experience” belongs to the indivudal, thus, its definition also reflects owner’s perception of it. Supported by Zeithaml et al., (1990) cited in Pantelidis and Marée (2009) “perishability, intangibility, heterogeneity and inseparability” of a restaurant product make the experience unique to every guest, making it personal and hard to quantify whether it is from an operational or a customer viewpoint. However, combining all viewpoints gathered around this topic allowed to have a better understanding of what “meal experience” stands for and how personal it could be. Throughout this paper has been shown different practices drawn from contemporary industry examples which principally break out from monotony in order to enhance guest’s meal experience and overcome the arising and threatening competitveness. In order to be successful in what restauranteurs undertake require to work closely with arising trends and creativity. Nowadays, any customers visiting restaurants expect to come

across experiences they did not expect. Nonetheless, It must not be forgotten that any successful meal experience firstly begins by a mutual trust between a service provider and a service receiver (Gupta & Vajic, 2000).

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2.0 References:
Achatz, G. (2007). The art of living eventfully: Alinéa restaurant chef & owner Grant Achatz (Interview). Art Culinaire.
Andersson, T. and Mossberg, L. (2004). The dining experience: do restaurants satisfy customer needs? “Food Service Technology”, 4, pp. 171-177.
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Auty, S. (1992). Consumer choice and segmentation in the restaurant industry .The Service Industries Journal 12 (3): 324-339.
Baker, J. (1986). The role of the environment in marketing services: The consumer perspective. In J. Czepiel, C. Congram, & J. Shanahan (Eds.), the services challenge: Integrating for competitive advantage (pp. 79-84). Chicago: American Marketing Association. Billing, M., Öström, A., and Lagerbielke, E. (2008). The importance of wine glasses for enhancing the meal experience from the perspectives of craft, design and science. “Journal of Foodservice”. 19: pp.69-73.

Bitner, M. J. (1992). Servicescapes: The impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees. “Journal of Marketing”. 56: 57-71.
Campbell-Smith, G. (1967). “Marketing of the Meal Experience : A fundamental approach”. London: University of Surrey.
Cousins, J., Foskett, D., and Gillespie, C. (2002). “Food and Beverage Management” (2 nd Edition), Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Davis, B., Lockwood, A., Alcott, P., and Pantelidis, I. (2012) Food and Beverage Management (5th Edition), Oxon: Routledge.
Davis, B., Lockwood, A., and Stone, S. (1998a) Food and Beverage Management (3rd Edition), Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.
Davis, B., Lockwood, A., and Stone, S. (1998b) Food and Beverage Management (3rd Edition), Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.
Finkelstein, J. (1989). Dining out: Sociology of Modern Manners. Polity: Cambridge. Gupta, S. & Vajic, M. (2000). The Contextual and Dialectical Nature of Experiences. In J. Fitzsimmons, & M. Fitzsimmons (Eds.), New service development: Creating memorable experiences (pp.33-51). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gustafsson, I. (2004a). Culinary Arts and Meal Science: A new scientific research discipline. “Food Service Technology”, 4(1), pp. 9-20.
Gustafsson, I. (2004b). Culinary Arts and Meal Science: A new scientific research discipline. “Food Service Technology”, 4(1), pp. 9-20.
Gustafsson, I.B., Öström, A., Johansson, J., Mossberg, L. (2006). “The Five Aspects Meal Model: A tool for developing meal services in restaurants”. Journal of Foodservice. 17, pp.84-93. Hanefors, M. & Mossberg, L. (2003a). Searching for the extraordinary meal experience. “Journal of Business Management” – Summer 2003, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 249. Hanefors, M. & Mossberg, L. (2003b). Searching for the extraordinary meal experience. “Journal of Business Management” – Summer 2003, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 249. Hansen, K., Jensen, O., and Gustafsson, I. (2005). The meal experience of à la carte restaurant customers. “Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism”, 5(2), 135-151. Page 10 of 17

Heide, M. and Gronhaug, K. (2006). Atmosphere: conceptual issues and implications for hospitality management. “Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism”, 6(4), 271-286 Hyde, L. (1999). The Gift. Vintage: London.

Jang, S. and Namkung, Y. (2009). “Perceived quality, emotions, and behavioural intentions: Application of an extended Mehrabian-Russel model to restaurant”. Journal of Business Research, 62, 4, pp. 451-460.

Jones, P. and Merricks, P. (1994). “The management of foodservice operations”. London: Cassell. Kelly, T. and Le Bel, JL. (1995). Critical success factors in foodservice concepts: an analysis of North American fine dining. “Health and Pleasure at the table”. Montreal, Canada. Kolter, P. (1973). Atmospherics as a Marketing tool. “Journal of Retailing”, 49 (4) 48-64. Le Figaro (2010). “Christian Sinicropi, Palme d’Or de la cuisine cannoise” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 15 November 2013]. Lillicrap, D., Cousins, J. and Smith, R. (2006) “Food and Beverage Service” (7th edition), Oxon: Hodder & Stoughton.

MacLaurin, D. & MacLaurin, T. (2000). Customer perceptions of Singapore’s theme restaurants. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Quarterly, 41, 75-85.
Maslow, A. (1970). “Motivation and Personality”. Harper and Row: New York. Pantelidis. I and Marée. G. (2009). Imagineering the meal experience. EuroChrie Conference, Helsinki, 22-24 October.
Power, T. and Hahn, W. (2002). “Skill and resource based competitve methods: Impact on firm performance. Journal of Services Marketing, 16, 2, pp. 113-124. Trip Advisor Official Website (2013). “La Palme d’Or Restaurant in Cannes” [Online]. Available at: Cannes_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence.html#REVIEWS [accessed on 15 November 2013]. Trip Advisor Official Website (2013). “Alinéa Restaurant in Chicago” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 10 January 2014].

Ultraviolet Official Website (2013a). “Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 9 January 2014].
Ultraviolet Official Website (2013b). “Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 9 January 2014].
Warde, A. & Martens, L. (2000). Eating out: Social Differentitation, Consumption and Pleasure. Cambridge Press: New York.
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Watz, B. (2008). The entirety of the meal: a designer’s perspective. Journal of Foodservice, 19, pp.96104.

3.0 Appendices
Handout 1:

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Uniglobe CBO Travel (2013). “3 of the best restaurants in Chicago” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 15 November 2013].

Handout 2:

Thuriès (2010). “Christian Sinicropi et Anatoly Komm ” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 17 November 2013].

Handout 3 :

Page 13 of 17

La Palme D’Or (2013) “Déjeuner Croisette à La Palme D’Or” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 17 November 2013].

Handout 4 :

La Palme D’Or (2013) “Déjeuner Croisette à La Palme D’Or” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 17 November 2013].

Handout 5 :

Page 14 of 17

La Palme D’Or (2013) “Déjeuner Croisette à La Palme D’Or” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 17 November 2013].

Handout 6 :

La Palme D’Or (2013) “Déjeuner Croisette à La Palme D’Or” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 17 November 2013].

Handout 7 :

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La Palme D’Or (2013) “Déjeuner Croisette à La Palme D’Or” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 17 November 2013].

Handout 8 :

Ultraviolet Official Website (2013). “Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 9 January 2014].

Handout 9 :

Page 16 of 17

Ultraviolet Official Website (2013). “Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet” [Online]. Available at: [accessed on 9 January 2014].

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