Music is one of the most critical factors in setting the mood and enhancing the experience for restaurant guests. When used correctly, it can increase sales and improve customer satisfaction.
However, most restaurant owners need to put more thought into their music choices. Instead, they play what they like or use music services that don’t suit their brand.
Set the Atmosphere
The atmosphere of a restaurant sets the tone for the overall dining experience. While it’s easy to overlook, it’s crucial to attracting and retaining customers.
Whether opening a fast-food chain or a fine-dining establishment, setting the right mood can make all the difference in a customer’s impression of your business. Studies show that diners who feel relaxed in a restaurant enjoy their food more and linger longer.
In addition, background music for restaurants can also play a role in setting the right atmosphere. A study found that patrons were more satisfied with their meals when playing soft restaurant background music.
On the other hand, loud restaurant background music can make people feel rushed and distracted. In addition, it may put them off from talking with their friends, so it’s essential to find a balance between music and noise.
Lighting can also play a role in setting the atmosphere of a restaurant. Brighter lighting creates a lively and energetic vibe, while dim lighting encourages a more intimate, cozy feel.
Staff members can also help to set the atmosphere of a restaurant. If your staff is friendly, attentive, and willing to work hard for your customers, your guests will be more likely to come back again.
The atmosphere of a restaurant can do three things for your business: bring in new customers, keep existing ones, and enhance the taste of your food. The right atmosphere will ensure that your customers return to your place and spread the word about your great food.
Enhance the Taste of Food
Our taste buds are susceptible to sound. Music can accentuate and emphasize the flavor of different types of food, and restaurants can use this knowledge to their advantage.
Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, has studied how sound affects our eating experience for years. He’s led a series of research projects in what he calls “multi-sensory food perception.”
In one study, participants were given toffee and wine to eat while listening to various musical styles. The higher-pitched sounds, like flutes and violins, enhanced the sweet flavor of the toffee, while lower-pitched instruments, like tubas, intensified the bitter notes of the wine.
This is similar to how our sense of smell influences our experience of the flavor of foods. Researchers have found that certain scents evoke emotions and that different kinds of bouquets can trigger memories of a particular time or place.
Another exciting way that sound can enhance the taste of food is by improving the smoothness or roughness of food. A recent study showed that music could make chocolate seem creamier or rougher, depending on the song.
If you want to try this experiment, grab a piece of dark chocolate or a glass of dry red wine and play some music. Pay close attention to the pitch and sounds of the music, as well as how sweet or bitter it is. You’ll be amazed at how much your perception of these flavors changes!
Music can play various roles in a restaurant, impacting how diners behave. For instance, soft, slow classical music encourages lingering in a fine dining establishment. It encourages people to order more drinks or desserts. In a no-reservations, queues-round-the-block, street-food venue, louder, more upbeat tunes can keep turnover steady by keeping patrons engaged.
The tempo of the music has also been found to affect the mood and appetite of restaurant guests, with researchers observing that slower tempos make it more likely for patrons to linger over their meals. This is because slower tempos promote relaxation and a feeling of calm, whereas faster tempos can lead to feelings of stress and a more rushed dining experience.
This is because loud, fast tempos activate the sympathetic nervous system (the ‘fight-or-flight’ response), which opposes the parasympathetic system and suppresses appetite. This directly impacts the amount of food and drink diners consume, which can result in a lower profit margin for restaurants.
Although this research is limited in that it only examined data from one restaurant, the findings are consistent with previous investigations into the influence of music tempo on behavior in retail and restaurant contexts. The results are relevant to managers seeking to maximize profits in busy and quiet times of the day and week.
Encourage Table Turnover
Music is a powerful tool for restaurant owners and managers. It can help them set the mood and atmosphere of their restaurant, enhance the food experience and encourage table turnover.
Research shows that music tempo affects the mood and appetite of customers and can impact how long they stay and how much money they spend at the restaurant. In particular, it can influence how quickly they chew their food.
Slower music enables customers to linger longer and enjoy their meals more, increasing sales. On the other hand, fast-paced music is associated with higher arousal levels and can harm customers’ food preferences and behaviors.
While tailoring the music to your brand and target demographic is essential, you can also mix different genres to create a more diverse playlist. This way, you can ensure that the right tunes are playing at all times and that your guests have the best dining experience possible.