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  • Loud Music Suppresses Taste

    tasteA professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford, has said that “venues playing their music too loud are at risk of dulling diners’ taste buds”.  He also revealed that “loud music can make it harder to discern a drink’s alcohol content, which may drive diners to buy more booze”.  Perhaps certain restaurants are using music to alter diners’ moods – fast food restaurants are known for their high-octane soundtracks which encourage diners to eat quickly and leave.  Fergus Henderson of St. John on the other hand has a no music policy at his Farringdon restaurant, and Nigella Lawson believes a thumping soundtrack is “utterly draining and drowns out the taste of the food”.  Stephen Harris from The Sportsman probably has it right.  He believes the key to a successful restaurant playlist is to pick songs that blend into the background rather than demand to be heard.  That does sound like a much more enjoyable dining experience.  Interestingly, we have previously reported that wine and spirits are described in a similar way to music, as they have different ‘notes’.  Citrus flavours are seen as high notes, while wood and chocolate are low notes. Just wondering whether the choice of background music could influence the customer's choice of cognac ...