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Customer experience and perception of polycarbonate glassware

When choosing glassware for a hospitality setting it is always about creating the right customer experience. The customer experience is impacted by a lot of factors; some that can be controlled but a lot are beyond the control of the venue management as the experience is based on perception and perception to a large degree is passed on past experiences; good and bad.

The Eye – Clarity and form factor

The first impression of the glassware is typically visual. The moment the guest see the glass the brain starts a recognition process that can trigger a number of responses. The cleanliness and clarity of the glass, the color, the shape. It all get processed and compared to past experiences.

When using polycarbonate glassware the brain can be visually tricked to believe the glass is indeed made of glass due to clarity and similarity to glass. Cracking and scratches which are typical for plastics however immediately breaks the perception. Clouding of glassware is also common for normal glass and will typically affect the perception negatively for both glass and polycarbonate and trigger a curiosity to take a closer look.

The form factor is another factor that can trick the brain. The shape is visually recognized by the brain and compared to past experiences and the knowledge and expectations of what can and cannot be made from normal glass.

Glass4ever have crafted a number of glasses that are replicas of existing and easy recognizable glass shapes. Combined with high quality polycarbonate that increase resistance to scratching and cracking the glasses further maintain clarity and is easy to keep clean. This helps trick the brain to believe that what is in front is indeed a real glass.

The Hand – Weight, balance, surface and temperature

The second impression of the glassware is when a guest is touching the glass to start consuming its content. Here weight, balance, surface and temperature are important factors for the customer experience.

Glass as Material is relatively heavier than polycarbonate and the moment the glass is lifted from the table the perception of drinking from real glassware can be broken. The relative weight difference between glass and polycarbonate is however significant less the moment the glasses are filled with liquid and the perception of real glassware can hence be maintained at a relative high level.

The surface of the glassware is also important , worn and torn polycarbonate and other plastics can contain numerous scratches that makes it feel very different from normal glassware which also have a tendency to feel a bit slippery when wet from condensation on the outside.

Temperature is yet another factor that might break the perception that the guest is holding a real glass. Polycarbonate has better insulation capabilities than glass and as some drinks are expected to be served cold, the insulation will make the outer surface feel warmer than if served in a normal glass. This can be counter measured by cooling the polycarbonate glasses in advance and it is worth mentioning that the content by being kept in an insulated container actually remains cooler for a longer time than if kept in a normal glass.

Glass4ever have in the design on a number of glasses added extra materials and balanced the shapes of the glass to improve the illusion that the glass is made of real glass and by usage of high quality polycarbonate materials the glasses are less worn and torn compared to cheaper materials.

The Lips – Temperature, surface and design

Lips are one of the most sensitive areas of the human body and glassware of poor quality will typically reveal itself the moment the glass touches the lips. Glass and polycarbonate alike. Most people will when putting the glass to their lips take notice if the glassware is not made from glass. Surface and temperature of the glassware being warmer than expected plays their role and if the glass touches the teeth the sensation is clear. Studies have however shown that some guests does not realize they are drinking from polycarbonate until the lighter weight of the glass becomes obvious towards the end of the drink.

Glass4ever design the shape and finish of glasses to imitate the feeling of glass on the lips. It is however not possible to completely to imitate glassware made from real glass and the illusion are significant different from glass type to glass type. The quality of the polycarbonate material used in Glass4ever glassware as well as the design provide a significant better perception than found among some of the competitors.

The tongue – taste

Taste is the last major factor that might affect the drinking experience and perception of drinking from a quality glass.  While glass are close to 100% tasteless plastics of different qualities may leak chemicals that will affect the taste experience negatively. Some liquids are better in transferring the taste than others but there may also be a direct transfer onto the lip and tongue from the glass itself.

The taste of glass is different than that of plastics but even glass have a taste. The brain however have over long time got accustomed to this taste and the perception is hence neutral.

Glass4ever use a high quality polycarbonate that is close to tasteless and transfer of chemicals into the liquid is close to zero and significantly within both the European and Australian health authorities’ threshold values. General surveys of customer perception relating to taste from polycarbonate glassware typically indicate non to very limited feedback on taste.

Keeping up appearance

A good way to utilize polycarbonate glassware even if concerned about customer perception would be glasses that are used to serve drinks with a straw, water glasses, decanters and in situations where people are served “ad libitum”.

Keeping polycarbonate glassware clean and polished and choosing a quality that is difficult to scratch and have a certain weight feeling is always recommendable.

Glass4ever offers a lineup of products that are designed with a focus on the detail and that help you keeping up appearance and allow you to maintain a great customer experience.

Remember – glass is not always made of glass.

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