There are various reasons a restaurant gives free bread before or after you place your order. Here we discussed six reasons. These are follows –
Reason 1: Waiting Seem Less Long.
Maybe you’ve heard the story of a new skyscraper that had installed fast elevators. After the building opened, the tenants complained that the elevators were too slow. The owners checked the wait times and found that the elevators were fast, and the waits were short, yet the people working there perceived the elevators were slow. The owners installed mirrors in the elevator areas, and the complaints of slow elevators went away. The distraction took people’s minds off of waiting.
If you go into a restaurant and it takes 15 minutes to receive your food, and you have nothing to occupy yourself but sitting there nursing your water, 15 minutes seems a long time. If you have bread, you are distracted and not focused on how long it takes to prepare your food. Instead of being frustrated that the restaurant can’t get meals out of the kitchen on time as you sit unoccupied, you instead praise the prompt service when distracted from the passage of time.
In conclusion, free bread is offered to customers because they are impatient, and bread is a distraction mechanism. Hunger and boredom make waiting time seem longer. Distracting you with the first drink and some bread with a tapenade or seasoned butter will make the waiting seem less long.
Reason 2: Feel Indebted To The Restaurant.
Another purpose of the free bread is to make the diner feel indebted to the restaurant. After receiving free bread, you are not likely to leave without ordering. When a couple is provided the bread, they are less likely to leave to another nearby restaurant — for feelings of guilt. It helps commit patrons to dine, especially in a popular city where restaurants compete for walk-ins who look at the menu and might go next door. Once they have been served quickly — especially something free, they are less likely to leave.
Reason 3: To Pacify Hungry Customer.
When people are hungry, they lose their temper quickly. Many guests arrive hungry and cranky with low blood sugar. Bread is an economical way to make sure they don’t get upset if their food takes 10 minutes and takes it out on their server.
Reason 4: Sign of Hospitality.
Simple bread is a sign of welcome and hospitality to their guests. Bread is and has been, a sign of hospitality like none other. It’s not something fancy or expensive, but it is a staple. To share it with guests means to welcome them and make them part of your family. When days were bad, bread was what people had. When days were good, bread is what people made every day. This hasn’t changed for most parts of the world.
Reason 5: Gives Good First Impression.
Service is critical if a restaurant doesn’t want to lose clients. The lack would make patrons start out thinking the restaurant is terrible, cheap, and low-class. The more fancy restaurants usually use this moment as a showcase of their quality with freshly self-baked bread and freshly ground garlic butter. Therefore, it’s a self-reinforcing phenomenon.
Reason 6: Psychological Edge.
It gives the restaurant the psychological edge of saying, ‘See how quick and efficient we are? We’re all over this’.
The idea is to keep people happy by offering them “free” something, and making them feel that there is always someone taking care of them, instead of them just sitting there for 20–30 minutes without anything to do or eat. However, just because this bread is not added to your bill directly, it’s not free. The price of bread or any “free” food is already calculated in every dish when planning a menu and prices. So yes, you are paying for this bread.