The Safe Food Caf?

President Jon Wefald likes to remind me that Kansas State University will not be getting a hockey arena any time soon. I even gave him one of our collectors T-shirts (left, exactly as shown) and he said, no way.

Which is too bad cause one of our ideas to help finance the arena was the Safe Food Café, a restaurant and observational food service kitchen where we could videotape the food safety behaviors of employees and customers, and experiment with interventions.

Apparently the Dutch were listening in, and have come up with their own variation.

The Associated Press reported that a new research centre — dubbed the "restaurant of the future" — at the Dutch university of Wageningen will track diners with dozens of unobtrusive cameras and monitoring their eating habits.

Rene Koster, head of the Center for Innovative Consumer Studies, said,

"We want to find out what influences people: colors, taste, personnel. We try to focus on one stimulus, like light," as overhead bulbs switched through green, red, orange and blue. This restaurant is a playground of possibilities. We can ask the staff to be less friendly and visible or the reverse. The changes must be small. If you were making changes every day it would be too disruptive. People wouldn’t like it."

University staff who want to eat at the new restaurant have to sign a consent form agreeing to be watched.

The new research centre — which cost almost 3 million euros ($4.26 million) — was set up in partnership with French catering group Sodexho Alliance and other companies interested in using the restaurant to test their products.