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Increase turnover with the right music in the restaurant - find out why?

By Jenny Westerberg, 1 Jul 2022

Keep reading - 3 minutes reading time

Do you have a music strategy in your restaurant? Or do you just keep playing your favorite tunes, or some random chill out lists? If you think that music doesn’t matter that much and what music you play don’t affect your bottom line, you need to read this article.

There are many good reasons why you should have a thought through music strategy. And I will list the most important reasons here.

1. With music you create your ambience

The choice of music in your restaurant really sets the mood. With the right music you can set the atmosphere to match your concept. Depending on what type of restaurant you are, fine-dining restaurant, busy bar, family-oriented restaurant – your music should be adapted.

Studies show that volume matters. When the music is loud, it’s more difficult to talk properly and people will start drinking more. This is probably good if you run a bar, pub or a club, but not if you are running a family-oriented restaurant or a fine dining restaurant. But you don’t want to play your music at too low volume either since music plays an important role in creating privacy between guests, so they feel like talking freely and feel more comfortable.

2. Music influence how and what you eat

The music you play is very much affecting people’s choice of food and their pace of eating and drinking. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the volume of music in a restaurant will strongly influence the food ordered by your customers. Simply put: the louder the music, the more customers would tend to order unhealthier choices. And calmer musical atmosphere would encourage them to make healthier food choices.

The quicker the tempo of the music playing the faster people finish their meal and leave. Which is interesting if you run a quick service restaurant or bar and want to have a high turnover of tables. On the other hand, if you manage a fine-dining restaurant with a more romantic setting you should play something slower and softer. Your diners will eat more slowly but tend to spend more, since they are more likely staying for dessert and coffee.

3. Music affects the taste of your food

Research shows that high-frequency sounds enhance the sweetness in food, while low frequencies bring out the bitterness. So, if you are a café or bakery you should definitely go for high-pitch songs.

Volume also plays a part when it comes to the taste of food. If the volume is too high it decreases our ability to sense the taste, meaning the food and drinks doesn’t taste as good as it could do. Not great if you are a restaurant where you have put a lot of thought to your menu and flavors your guest should experience.

4. Increase spending with the right music

Studies show that some type of music are automatically perceived as high-class, like classical or jazz music. People entering a restaurant playing classical music will probably perceive the restaurant as more expensive than if you were playing rock or pop songs. And on the other hand if you are running a more casual restaurant, playing contemporary pop and rock will give your restaurant a relaxed vibe.

Music can heavily set the ambience for your restaurant and the expectations from guest entering your venue to a relatively low cost. As we have gone through in this article, music influence the turnover of tables, what people order, the atmosphere, the taste of your food and drinks.

To give away the music to your staff to play what they feel like when working is not a good strategy. You should instead ask yourself does the music you are playing today create the right ambience? Does it fit your concept and the brand? Does it attract the right type of customers and support your business goals?

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