Why cook when you can eat outside

“Eating is highly emotional” - why we like to go to the restaurant

Berlin. Longing for pizza and pasta at the Italian or sushi from the professional: For weeks in the corona pandemic it was not possible to eat in a restaurant. Now the first are opening their doors again. It is very understandable that people were now looking forward to eating out and felt a relief, said the nutritionist Christine Brombach from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. “You want to participate in public life again, and that includes eating out.” Eating in community is a deeply human need.

According to the scientist, eating out meets various human needs: "Eating is highly emotional and always a social matter," she said. Eating in a restaurant has an outstanding position: "Eating out is something special and a highlight in everyday life."

Restaurants and pubs were closed in mid-March to prevent the corona virus from spreading. In compliance with distance rules and hygiene regulations, the gastronomy is now allowed to reopen gradually, against the background of the respective infection process in the countries and country-specific features.

Acoustic stimuli

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was the first to reopen its gastronomy on Saturday subject to health protection requirements and with restrictions on the number of guests. Other countries will follow these days (see further text).

A visit to a restaurant is an overall experience due to the semi-public, the special crockery and cutlery and acoustic stimuli such as the clinking of glasses from the next table. And conversations at the table are also different from those at the dining table at home. In addition, you can taste and try out new things more than at home, and eating becomes an experience.

Although the food itself is also important, the physical and social components of eating out are at least as important. "Eating in a restaurant has different levels, it is a sensual, holistic experience," said Brombach. Furthermore, going to a restaurant relieves you of having to cook yourself.

"A bit like a king"

"In the restaurant you are served, you feel a bit like a king," explains the nutritional psychologist Christoph Klotter from the Fulda University of Applied Sciences. That increases self-esteem. In addition, you stage yourself in public in a restaurant. “We're always looking for that special meal, and not just since Instagram,” says the scientist. “If we don't have that, we feel isolated.” According to Klotter, eating is the most social event. "Throughout human history, groups define themselves by eating together."

The food in the restaurant is something very special. This is where social solidarity is experienced: “In a vegan restaurant or a hamburger shop, for example, we have the feeling that we have like-minded people around us,” explains Klotter. At the same time, a visit to "Italians, Greeks or Thais" for example awakens holiday memories. Do people also go to restaurants because it tastes better there than at home? “If you can't cook, it might be tastier,” says Klotter. In general, however, this is not the main reason to go to a restaurant. (dpa)