The objective of the article is to be able to determine how diners’ taste evaluations change based on how much they paid for an all-you-can-eat buffet. They have observed that price can have a much more influential effect on consumer’s evaluation of quality than sensory perceptions. The belief of the author’s led them to theorize that consumers use price as a predictor of quality prior to purchase. The researchers came up with two basic hypotheses for their study: (1) diners will generally evaluate the taste of pizza as better when paying more for the buffet and (2) their ratings will decrease with each subsequent piece of pizza they eat. To be to make accurate comparisons over different price points, they came up with a method wherein they cooperated with Aiello’s Italian Restaurant, an all-you-can-eat restaurant located in New York to observe consumers in the vicinity. The consumers were then divided into two groups, one group was offered a $4 price point while the second group was offered and $8 price point, but both were served the same menu and quality of food. The results showed that the consumer’s taste evaluation was very much influenced by the price, the higher the price paid, the better the taste evaluations and ratings are. This study shows us that when eating in a low-priced buffet, people may find the foods less tasty. Although buffets may employ a low-price strategy in order to attract consumers this strategy may not be as profitable in the long term. The key in this relationship may be whether the cost or the experience is more salient in the consumer’s memory of the experience.ARTICLE 2: Slim by Design: Serving Healthy Foods First in Buffet Lines Improves Overall Meal SelectionWansink B, Hanks AS (2013) Slim by Design: Serving Healthy Foods First in Buffet Lines Improves Overall Meal Selection. PLoS ONE 8(10): e77055. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077055With the prevalence of obesity in the United States many researchers have been studying on how to help lessen the percentage of obesity in the country by redesigning the arrangement of buffet tables and cafeterias to help them eat less and eat better. A number of these studies utilized the CAN method in economics which stands for convenient, attractive and normative. The objective of the study is to be able to determine whether consumers are able to make healthier meal selections given the condition that buffet lines serve healthy foods first. The researchers’ hypothesis is that each food taken may partly determine what other foods a person selects. In this way, the first food a person selects could trigger subsequent selections of complementary foods. Rearranging the food from healthiest to the least healthy can influence consumers to eat healthier meals since it is what you see first. To be able to test their hypothesis they came up with a method wherein they created two different arrangements in a breakfast buffet. Foods in the one arrangement are ordered such that the first foods one sees are the healthier but foods in the other arrangement are ordered such that the first foods one sees are the less healthy. Diners were then assigned to random buffet tables then escorted to their tables.The results were astounding and data shows that the regardless whether the food they encountered were healthy or not, the first food that a person sees in a buffet table were more likely to be selected than the last foods they see. It can be concluded that food arrangement is a huge factor in influencing and determining the diner’s plate. First foods do matter since it can be able to aid in helping people choose a healthier option and eat less. ARTICLE 3: The Flat- Rate Pricing Paradox: Conflicting Effects of “All-You-Can-Eat” Buffet PricingJust, D. R., & Wansink, B. (2011). The Flat-Rate Pricing Paradox: Conflicting Effects of “All-You-Can-Eat” Buffet Pricing. Review of Economics and Statistics,93(1), 193-200. doi:10.1162/rest_a_00057The objective of the study is to be able to determine whether restaurants with high or increasing rates influences the consumer’s behaviour to consume more food, until the consumer’s marginal utility reaches zero, in comparison to restaurants with flat rates or fixed pricing. One of the standard economic model states that a person maximizes his/her utility consumption subject to a budget constrain. In a buffet there is now an absence of a budget since after the consumer pays for the fee consumers are now only concerned with satisfying themselves thus the flat fee should not have an impact on consumption. The transaction model states that a consumer is motivated by both a desire to get a ”good deal” and increase consumption utility. The hedonic-price utility model reported enjoyment in should depend on the price paid. We hypothesize that the amount of food people eat is positively correlated with how much they pay for the food. Thus, those who pay more eat more. Further, we hypothesize that price has a negative impact on taste evaluations and if price affects taste negatively but consumption positively. To make accurate comparisons between the different price conditions they used a method wherein consumers were divided into two groups’ one group was asked to pay a regular price for the pizza buffet ($5.98) while another group was given a 50% coupon for the buffet ($2.99). Results shows that people given the 50% discond consumed less pizza and an individual’s taste rating became inversely related to how much pizza they consumed. In other words individual in a flat rate context consumes until they are able to get their money’s worth and until their marginal utility of consumption declines to 0. ARTICLE 4: Shining Light on Atmospherics: How Ambient Light Influences Food Choices.Biswas, D., Szocs, C., Chacko, R., & Wansink, B. (2017). Shining Light on Atmospherics: How Ambient Light Influences Food Choices. Journal of Marketing Research,54(1), 111-123. doi:10.1509/jmr.14.0115The article is about the study of how lighting can be able to influence a consumer’s food choices and overall dining experience. The objective of this article is to be able to find out whether creating a brighter atmosphere in restaurants would be able to influence customers to make healthier choices and increase overall satisfaction. Researchers hypothesize that dim (vs bright) light reduces mental alertness, inhibition and self-presentation focus. Two methods were used to be able to test the researcher’s hypothesis. The first method involved an experiment over four different locations of a restaurant chain wherein they manipulated a single factor which was ambient light luminance (bright vs. dim). These restaurants were located in the same metropolitan area of a major city in the United States, and these locations are in close proximity to one another. The second method was the placebo induced mental alertness method wherein the researchers manipulated mental alertness level through placebo effects associated with sampling a beverage and ambient lighting. The results of a field study and a series of lab studies robustly show that consumers tend to choose less healthy food options when ambient lighting is dim (vs. bright). Process evidence suggests that this phenomenon occurs because ambient light luminance influences mental alertness, which in turn influences food choices. ARTICLE 5: Food choice and emotions: Comparison between low and middle income populationsSosa, M., Cardinal, P., Contarini, A., & Hough, G. (2015). Food choice and emotions: Comparison between low and middle income populations. Food Research International,76, 253-260. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2014.12.031The objective of the study is to be able to find out how income has become a factor in the food choice and emotions of the low and middle class populations from two Argentine cities. The researchers hypothesize that the lower the income of a person the poorer a person’s food choice and food related emotions become. According to the basic economic theory, households purchase foods and other market goods to be able to maximize their utility or well-being. The theory also states that one should also take into consideration constraints such as income which means that their expenditure or food preferences should be lesser or if not equal to their income. In order to test their hypothesis the researchers surveyed . 320 women between 22 and 55 years, half low income (LI) and half middle income (MI), from two Argentine cities, small and large, participated in this study. Using a survey questionnaire, with participants having to choose between the best or the worse, 23 motives were considered. In the emotions section, participants checked all-that-applied of 33 emotions for 6 emblematic foods. The Results were analyzed by generalized linear models and correspondence analysis. While differences between cities were small, differences between income levels were important. It was seen that negative emotions were associated more frequently by low-income than by middle-income respondents.ARTICLE 6: Global Sushi: Eating and IdentityEdwards, P. A. (2012). Global Sushi: Eating and Identity. Perspectives on Global Development and Technology,11(1), 211-225. doi:10.1163/156914912×620842 The objective of this study is to be able to explain the huge sushi phenomenon that has been happening all around the globe today. Sushi has become a global sensation in the year 1990’s and through the years many different versions and hybrids of sushi have been made. Examples of such hybrids are the California maki and the spider rolls which are now being reverse-imported to its homeland which is japan. The hypothesis of the study is that sushi’s growing popularity shows the influences of non-Western cultures in US society. As many theorists of globalisation point out ” today’s world is characterised by accelerating flows of people, material goods, information, images and so on from multiple points of origin to multiple destinations.” Sushi’s globalisation can be seen in this contextA theory of the raw vs. the cooked explored by Levi- Strauss explains how the vowel triangle and the consonant triangle methodology can be applied to cooking. This concept creates a new appreciation and understanding of food. To be able to investigate people’s perception of sushi , the researchers looked for respondents who have not eaten sushi , respondents who eat sushi in a regular basis and respondents who have tried sushi but had a negative experience with it, to try sushi . The respondents had two different set of reactions. Others thought that raw aspect made the food unacceptable to eat; it was no longer food while others perceived the rawness of it had an “aura of exoticism,” which made them excited to try sushi and ultimately decide that it was an experience she would like to have again. Globalization has made us become more aware of different cultures thus creating a new kind of understanding and appreciation for their culture. ARTICLE 7: Fashionable food: A latent class analysis of social status in food purchases.Palma, M. A., Ness, M. L., & Anderson, D. P. (2016). Fashionable food: a latent class analysis of social status in food purchases. Applied Economics,49(3), 238-250. doi:10.1080/00036846.2016.1194965The objective of the study is to be able understand if the purchasing behavior of consumers is not only influenced by the taste but by seeking a prestige social status as well. Theory states that the seeking of prestige social status provides general utility to a person. Utility or satisfaction is achieved through showing off of wealth to others an example of this is purchasing of goods that displays wealth. The researchers hypothesize that consumers higher class individuals seek to differentiate themselves from others by purchasing of prestigious goods and lower class purchasing prestigious goods to be seen as higher class members of society. The experiment used was a classic econometric approach in combination with a framed field experiment. A hypothetical structure was proposed keeping in mind the end goal to test prominent utilization of specialty food products. The researchers test the theory exactly by sorting people into unobserved latent classes as indicated by their general eminence looking for prestige. Findings from this study revealed that the effects of differentiating labelling attributes had a higher impact for individuals classified into classes with prestige-seeking behaviour to attain an elevated social status. It is precisely that cost differential in food that has opened the door for food to become a symbol of social status.ARTICLE 8: Moderating roles of customer characteristics on the link between service factors and satisfaction in a buffet restaurantRamanathan, R., Di, Y., & Ramanathan, U. (2016). Moderating roles of customer characteristics on the link between service factors and satisfaction in a buffet restaurant. Benchmarking: An International Journal,23(2), 469-486. doi:10.1108/bij-01-2015-0012There has always been a difficulty in measuring quality of services in the service sector with the reason being that it involves many psychological features. The objective of the study is to be able to identify the importance of the factors that have influenced customer satisfaction in the setting of a Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurant located in United Kingdom. The researchers hypothesize that service plays a huge role in customer satisfaction, the better the service the higher the satisfaction rate. The researchers used a survey based on the SERVQUAL instrument for the purpose. The researchers have discovered that the quality of service can be categorized into four main factors: service, food, price and ambience. Results showed that with using the multiple-regression analysis, food is the most influential factor in customer satisfaction, followed by price, ambience and service, respectively. Using a multi-group analysis results showed that for male customers ambience has been a very significant factor ; the influence of price on satisfaction have been much higher in female customers ; food and service factors are important for younger customers while price is important for older customers; price is important for customers with lower levels of income but not important for high-income customers. Given these results from the study , restaurants can now be able to make wise decisions and allocate their resources to maximize consumer satisfaction efficiently and effectively.SYNTHESISAll-you-can-eat buffets and restaurants have been dominating the service sector in today’s era. With the presence of the social stratification people have been classified into three main groups which are based on their social standing and income. Given that middle class families have limited or if not, enough income to provide for their essential needs not everyone can afford to eat in a buffet restaurant that has a price ranging from $12 to $20. Factors such as price, food, ambience and service come into consideration whenever they eat in these kinds of restaurants. Most people view price as being closely associated with satisfaction, social status and quality. The more that you pay for a restaurant the more that you expect the service and food to be of outstanding quality thus the better the food taste evaluations becomes. For consumers, eating in these restaurants enables them to not only make better food choices but satisfy their food related emotions as well. Ambience and lighting are also factors that are present in expensive or high price point restaurants; they act as a stimulus that stimulates the cognitive functions such as the alertness which makes their senses function in a level wherein they are able to enjoy their food and experience in a restaurant. Services such as offering of unique food cuisines in buffet restaurants create a better appreciation and understand of consumers for different cultures. For a consumer dining in an all-you-can-eat restaurant, with a high price point, these factors together create an outstanding overall dining experience. To ensure utmost customer satisfaction restaurants with high price points should not compromise factors such as price, food, ambience and service. There is no doubt that excellence in quality and service has always been present in high priced restaurants therefore leaving the customers their money’s worth.