Scent marketing has been used across many industries to influence and build relationships with customers.
Scent, which is tied to the portion of the brain that controls memory and emotion, can conjure many different feelings. Retailers will often use scent to create a cohesive brand image or make a certain impression on their customers.
The restaurant industry, however, is an industry where scent marketing can be used in many different ways. Many times, it’s to increase sales or highlight a certain offering. For example, Cinnabon intentionally places their ovens toward the front of the stores so that the delicious scent of cinnamon rolls can waft out to potential customers.
Coffee shops are also known to use scent marketing to increase sales. For example, it’s been reported that Starbucks adds the scent of coffee to their HVAC systems to overpower any smell their food offerings might be emitting and remind customers to purchase coffee.
While many restaurants enhance the already pleasant aromas from food to entice customers in or increase sales, one of the more popular uses of scent marketing in the industry is to keep certain spaces smelling clean. For example, many restaurants will pump a fresh, clean smell into the bathrooms. This article on ambient-scenting for restaurants is among MRM's all-time most popular reads.
There are endless ways the restaurant industry can use scent to their advantage while building relationships with their customers and creating lasting impressions. The below visual from FragranceX explores how scent marketing can be used to the restaurant and hospitality industry’s benefit.