This L.A. Restaurant Pipes in Faux-Food Scents to Get You to Order More

Specialized scents, ”obscure” music, and other tricks designed to separate you from your cash

If you smell a wood-fired oven at V, an all-day eatery in downtown, don’t assume something’s cooking. It might just be a scent cartridge inserted into the air-conditioning system to compel people to order pizza. (A basil cartridge does the same for salads.)

To get diners to linger and, hopefully, buy dessert, a high-margin item, the staff plays obscure music, which cofounder and lead designer Ben Calleja says has been shown to encourage people to stay longer.

Pizzas come in jewelry-box-like cases that cost V $1.50 each, but Calleja says they’re worth it for marketing purposes. At the V in Sweden, “80 percent of our guests that order takeout post a picture online.”

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