​​​​​​NEATNESS COUNTS
  • Arranging documents and other communications in an easy-to-follow, useful manner
  • Identifying and properly labeling data, information sources and assumptions
  • Organizing work in a methodical and tidy fashion, free from irregularity

COMMENTARY:
I recently read about two studies that investigated the effect that the arrangement of food on a plate has on whether customer liked the flavor of the food. The study showed that food presented in a neatly arranged presentation is liked more than the same food presented in a messy manner. A different study found that subjects expected to like the food in the neat presentations more than in the messy ones and would be willing to pay more for the exact same meal. 

The participants of these studies also indicated that the food in the neat presentations came from a higher quality restaurant and that more care was taken with its preparation than the food in the messy presentations. Neatness of the food presentation increases liking for the taste of the food by suggesting greater care on the part of the preparer. 
 
The main highlights of these studies showed the following:
  • How food is plated is thought to affect liking for food but to date there isn’t any empirical studies of this. 
  • They found that food is liked more when presented in a neat rather than a messy manner.
  • Neatly presented food is seen as more expensive and from a higher quality restaurant. 
  • People think more care was taken in the preparation of the neatly presented food. 
Unless you are a person (like me) who likes to mix their peas or corn with their mashed potatoes, then it’s clear, by these studies, that people equate a higher value, better equality, and a better tasting product when their meals were presented in a neat manner. Let’s face it, no one wants to go to a restaurant for a good meal to have their experience ruined by having their food thrown on a plate without any thought to how this would affect their customer’s overall dining experience.
 
At Funds For Learning, Neatness Counts is one of our GuideMarks. As noted above, it encompasses the following principles:
  • Arranging documents and other communications in an easy-to-follow, useful manner
  • Identifying and properly labeling data, information sources and assumptions
  • Organizing work in a methodical and tidy fashion, free from irregularity
Implementing the following principals tends to increase the effectiveness of our daily tasks. At Funds For Learning, implementing the principals outlined above, increases the effectiveness of the work we do, improves our communications with our clients and colleagues, and makes information easier to locate. Conversely, the opposite is true, when we fail to implement the principals of this GuideMark.

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Key Words and Phrases
Precise; Tidy; Methodical; Fastidious; Free from irregularity; Systematic; Arranged orderly; Admirable.

Opposite Terms
Disorganized; Sloppy; Messy; Disheveled.

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GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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