Why You’re Willing To Wait In Line For Hours For Trendy Foods

First it was the Cronut. Then came the rainbow bagel and an assortment of beautiful, over-the-top milkshakes.

No matter the time of day, the weather or how badly the streets reek of garbage, there are plenty of people willing to wait in line for hours on end to eventually get their hands on the food that everyone’s talking about.

If you’re not the type to stick it out for trendy eats, you’ve probably wondered why and how a person would wait eons to get a taste of a renowned brisket. There’s a bit of psychology behind the near-masochistic art of waiting, waiting and waiting before getting one’s chops on a popular food.

As Dr. Gail Saltz, a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry explains in Zagat’s video above, having access to something that’s sought out but difficult to taste equips people with “bragging rights,” which can improve their personal self definitions. “When you are envied, your self-worth feels improved,” Saltz said in the video. Does the number of likes you get on your Instagram photo correlate with the level of envy from on-lookers? That’s yet to be determined.

Even more, “mob psychology” comes into play: When everyone’s doing something (waiting in line for said fancy milkshake), others want to be part of the group and share in a type of delicious, social camaraderie. Tasting the same wait-worthy food is having something in common.

So, how about you? Are you willing to get a leg cramp for your favorite food? Let us know.

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