It’s interesting to note that there has been a heritage of being more experience aware in the restaurant business, over the years there have been visionaries like Ray Kroc, Howard Johnson, JW Marriott, etc. who understood how customer’s added up ‘clues’ that become the experience. They also seemed to understand the ’emotional’ value of the experience. I believe they had to in order to connect with customers because of the deeper emotional architecture of eating and the rituals surrounding it.
I think it has been less purposeful and more intuitive and that’s where the huge opportunity exists today. We know more about how people think today than ever before, in fact Antonio DiMasio, a noted neuroscientist, tells us we have learned more about how people think in the last decade than in the entire history of neuroscience and psychology.