Waiter! Waiter!

Here’s something to think about if you’re going out for a meal this week…

Did you know you are more likely to enjoy your meal if you are first to order?

It all comes down to our need for approval from others; if you like to be seen as a highly unique person, then what other people order will influence you.  

Imagine you are perusing the menu with a group of six people, and the steak with peppercorn sauce takes your fancy.  Then, as the waiter takes your group’s order, you find that everyone else at the table has ordered the very same thing.  It would probably kill you not to be different, so you go for the lobster even if it was only your second choice.

On the other hand, if you were really wanting to fit in with a group of people and they were all ordering salads when you really fancied a burger, then you would probably sadly chow down on a plate full of Caesar, watching other tables’ quarter pounders drift deliciously past your nose.

Of course, not everyone is like this, but you would be surprised how many people are influenced by how they want to be seen by others.  

It has been studied by getting groups of research candidates to either order publicly in front of others, or privately by writing their order down to the waiter, then asking them to rate how much they enjoyed their meals.  

Candidates who ordered privately showed much more satisfaction overall.

A cunning way to beat this effect is to always be first to order, thus in effect, ordering privately – although this might make you look a bit of a dick if the waiter is just about to take your elderly aunt’s order and you insist he takes yours first!

Self-awareness will help you too – if you know how you might be influenced, then you are more likely to be on the lookout for it and make sure you order exactly what you want regardless of what everyone else has.  

As luck would have it, coaching is a great way to improve self-awareness, DM me if you want to work with a Michelin starred coach. (OK, I made that bit up, but I’m bloody good all the same!)