In the 1760s, Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau opened a series of Parisian shops that boasted a curative consommé. Although the main draw was the broth, Roze’s establishments also set a new standard for dining out, with individual tables, service throughout the day, and nice dishware. In her history of dining, Rebecca Spang credits Roze with inventing the modern restaurant.
Today, enterprising restaurateurs can skip the medicinal broth and head straight for the hard data. Economists, psychologists, and marketing professors alike have generated reams of instructive research about restaurants. Take visual cues that influence what we eat: A 2012 study on plate size and color reported, among other things, that diners served themselves about 20 percent more pasta when their plates matched their food .
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