Music plays a crucial role in the dining experience. And chances are, as a restaurant owner or manager, you’re currently playing music in your establishment. If you’re not already, perhaps this blog post will change your mind; believe it or not, choosing the perfect music can actually drive profits in your restaurant. And we’ll tell you how! Here are three secrets to creating the ultimate restaurant music experience.
1. Should They Stay or Should They Go, Now?
The first step to creating the ultimate music experience in your restaurant is to determine if you’d prefer your customers to stay for long periods of time or eat and leave quickly. Does your establishment benefit when customers linger, sticking around to enjoy several courses with many drinks and dessert? Or, does your business do better when table turns are quick and customers enjoy their meal, but leave soon after?
According to a study published by the Association for Consumer Research, diners spent 23% more when soft, slow-tempo music was playing and drink bills grew 51% when customers were exposed this type of music.
Conversely, according to a CNN article, people chew three times faster when listening to high-volume, fast-tempo music. The article reports that one French study observed that men consumed more drinks and finished them in less time as decibel levels increased.
Tempo and decibel levels aren’t the only characteristics of music that affect diners. Research from a University of Oxford study shows that high notes are generally associated with sweetness and can even accentuate the sensation of sweetness, while resonate notes can provoke sensations of bitterness.
2. Makin’ Some Noise
The next step to creating the ultimate musical is making sure the music is neither too quiet nor too loud. A noise level of around 70 decibels is the sweet spot for most restaurants. For bars, that increases to between 75 and 80 decibels. The key is to maintain a noise level that creates the perfect sonic environment for maintaining conversation while blocking out undesirable background noise. If you want to get really precise, you can purchase a sound meter online.
The physical environment of your restaurant affects noise levels too. Hard, sound-reflective surfaces produce echoes and reverberations, while soft surfaces such as draped fabrics, curtains, canvas paintings, and fabric chairs absorb noise. Evaluate your restaurant’s interior and ask yourself how you can improve the acoustics of your space in order to create the most enjoyable customer experience.
3. Don’t Go Breakin’ the Law
You have a subscription to a streaming service like Spotify or Pandora, now you can plug your device into your restaurant’s sound system and you’re good to go, right? WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
If you want to avoid federal penalties in the form of fines ranging anywhere from $750 to $30,000, then you absolutely must pay licensing fees to either a music service that has paid appropriate fees on your behalf, or to a PRO like SESAC, ASCAP, or BMI. There are plenty of comprehensive guides to licensing music for your restaurant online.
Creating the ultimate musical experience for your customer will keep them coming back and can help increase profits for your business. If you need help understanding more ways to increase profits within your restaurant, contact the point of sale technology experts at Leebro POS.