Control the Tempo of Your Venue with a Good Restaurant Music Playlist

Control the Tempo of Your Venue with a Good Restaurant Music Playlist

Have you ever been to a family reunion and sat at a dinner table where the air was so thick you could cut it with a butter knife? Everyone was quietly eating, with only the occasional "pass the bread basket, please" interrupting the silence.

You couldn't wait to get out of there.

But then, something magical happened. Your uncle put an oldies record on, and the tension suddenly dissipated. The music soothed everyone's nerves. The family recalled various experiences that sparked conversation and a sense of togetherness, putting everyone in a joyous mood. Not only that, but the music even piqued everyone’s appetite.

This is how powerful music can be.

In this article, we will delve into the impact of music on consumer behaviour. We’ll also look at some science-backed tips and tricks for creating the perfect restaurant music playlist. Finally, if you’re wondering “how can I play music in my restaurant?”, we’ll show you the simplest and most effective way to do it, without worrying about copyright issues or manually updating playlists.

Why Is Playing Music in Restaurants Important?

There is no denying that music has a positive effect on our moods. Its impact on consumer behaviour and satisfaction has been studied since the 1970s.

Let's look at the essential advantages of playing music in restaurants.

  1. It Encourages People to Spend More Time (and Increase Sales) in Your Restaurant.

    One study (conducted by R. Millian, in 1986) found that people spend more time and money on food and drinks in a slower-paced environment. Classical music, as opposed to ‘Top 40’ music, for example, influences wine shoppers to buy more expensive items.

    Furthermore, a field experiment conducted in 2001 showed that when music and scent are combined, customers perceive their surroundings more positively, which increases their impulse buying behaviour.

  2. It Reduces the Stress of Queueing

    Many restaurants have a bar area to greet and serve guests while they wait for a table. It’s a clever way to make customers feel more welcome and entertained while also increasing consumption — and it’s best not to leave them in awkward silence.

    According to a 2016 study, background music encourages customers to wait 26% longer for a table.

  3. It Enhances the Inherent Sensory Experience of Food

    They say that gastronomy is an art that appeals to all of our senses:

    • The visual sense – How food is arranged on a plate to resemble a colourful sculpture;
    • The auditory sense – The sound of summer vegetables grilling and the anticipation of some delicious shish kebabs;
    • The olfactory sense – Cinnamon and apple pie can fill a room with a sweet scent that takes you to another place and time;
    • The taste sense – The satisfying abundance of aromas and textures that dance in your mouth;
    • The tactile sense – Unwrapping a cupcake can feel like opening a present, or holding a slice of pizza in your hands seems to make it taste better.

    As a restaurant owner, you already have a significant advantage from a sensory marketing point of view, so to speak. But what if you could take it a step further?

    Among other things, music has been shown to make people perceive food as tastier. This is referred to as the ‘sonic seasoning’ effect. By playing the right music to emphasise the flavours of the food, you can provide customers with an added layer of blissful sensorial experiences.

How to Set Up the Best Restaurant Music Playlist for Your Venue

When selecting appropriate music for restaurants, there are a few key considerations, depending on the profile of the venue, as well as the musical elements themselves.

  1. Volume

    One study on the effect of music volume on restaurant sales found that when customers were exposed to louder ambient music in restaurants (70 dB), they ordered more ‘non-healthy’ foods like burgers. When exposed to softer music (55 dB), they tended to order more nutritious foods like salads.

    It turns out that higher music volume can raise our heart rate, increasing stress and leading us to choose less healthy foods or desserts for comfort. Be careful though because if the music is too loud, it can mask the taste of food, leaving your customers dissatisfied.

    Interestingly, one study found that playing softer music in fast-food restaurants may have some benefits. It can cause customers to linger and order more food (which is good for the business), but they may not eat it all (good for them if they want to consume fewer calories). This doesn’t necessarily promote food waste if they take the leftovers home. But it does promote mindful eating: spending more time in a relaxed environment allows them to better register their fullness cues and increases customer satisfaction.

  2. Tempo

    Tempo does not appear to significantly impact the time spent in a venue, compared to music preference, for example. But any solution for regulating the flow of customers is worth investigating.

    According to recent research, the tempo of your restaurant music playlist has at least a minor effect on customers’ perceived time. It can keep your patrons sitting at their tables for longer or compel them to make way for other customers as soon as they finish their meal.

  3. Variety

    It's wise to have a wide range of music in your repertoire so that your staff and guests are not bored by hearing the same music every day. After all, even on a personal level, we choose a song based on our changing moods or needs. That is why, instead of purchasing individual albums, many people opt for a music subscription service nowadays.

    For business owners, in particular, it’s more complicated than bringing your CD collection to work. In fact, it’s not legal to do so. Music licensing for business use is critical in order to avoid copyright issues. There are subscription services specifically created to help enterprises in this regard.

  4. Brand Authenticity

    Customers appreciate it when a brand stays true to itself and builds a strong connection with them. When it comes to food and beverage venues, it means more than playing Italian music in an Italian restaurant. Your music needs to be consistent with your brand.

    Music that matches the consumption context has been shown to positively influence consumer behaviour and satisfaction. Restaurant owners who want to maximise long-term profits also need to create the best restaurant music playlist that their target consumers prefer. For example, pop music is trendy, youthful, and exciting, fitting for a younger audience. Lounge or jazzy music, on the other hand, adds a touch of sophistication, appropriate for a more mature audience.

How Can I Play Music in My Restaurant — Legally and Effectively?

We have touched upon an essential aspect earlier –- that music bought for personal use is illegal to play in commercial settings.

In order to broadcast commercial, copyright-protected music at your venue, you must first acquire a One Music licence.

In other circumstances, however, you may not necessarily have to play commercial music to attract customers. For that purpose, you can either pay partial rights to One Music or find licence-free music.

At Storeplay Radio, we can help you achieve the same feel-good vibes and positive customer experience by providing original sounds and instrumentals or high-quality covers of popular songs. And who knows — you might even discover new artists that your customers will fall in love with, and give them the satisfaction of knowing about them “before they were cool”.

Create the Perfect Restaurant Music Playlist with storePlay’s Music Subscription Service

After looking at all the factors in choosing the best restaurant music playlist for your business, one thing becomes clear: there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your brand and the services you provide are unique, and so should your background music.

StorePlay has a team of music and marketing experts who can help you find the right sound for your venue.

Most importantly, by working directly with One Music Australia, we have simplified music licensing for business owners. We pay royalties on your behalf in order for you to legally access the perfect music for restaurants, retail, and other businesses that require background music.

Feel free to browse some of our music selections on our website — there is a wide variety of music for all tastes and budgets! If you want our assistance in creating the perfect playlists through a legal and accessible music subscription service, get in touch now and experience a 30-day free trial of curated music for restaurants.

Music licensing for business use has never been easier than with Storeplay Radio!