The Five Aspects Meal Model: a tool for developing meal services in restaurants


Inga-Britt Gustafsson, Department of Restaurant and Culinary Arts, Örebro University, Sörälgsvägen 2, 712 60 Grythyttan, Sweden. Tel: +46 19 302009; Fax: +46 591 14443; E-mail:


Preparing, planning and serving meals require several important steps before you can enjoy a meal. The meal takes place in a room (room), where the consumer meets waiters and other consumers (meeting), and where dishes and drinks (products) are served. Backstage there are several rules, laws and economic and management resources (management control system) that are needed to make the meal possible and make the experience an entirety as a meal (entirety – expressing an atmosphere). These five factors are the major ones for developing meal service in restaurants, and together form the Five Aspects Meal Model (FAMM). Several studies have shown that the context of a meal is important for the acceptance and consumption of a meal. Accordingly, the context has to include the food product itself, the consumer and the environment. These three factors need to be considered in an integrated manner, because they affect each other. A qualitative study of restaurant consumers found that there are at least eight main categories of importance for the experience of the meal: restaurant atmosphere, core items of consumption, restaurant scene, personal service encounter, staff quality, visitors, restaurant decision process and individual circumstances. These categories can easily be related to the ‘Five Aspects Meal Model’. The essence of each factor is dependent upon different forms of knowledge, such as science, practical-productive, aesthetical and ethical.