How Music Helps Restaurants Choose Customers

Music likely isn’t the largest factor motivating where you choose to dine, but restaurant owners put a lot of thought into what they play. Here's why.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Music most likely isn’t the largest factor motivating where you choose to dine, but restaurant owners put a lot of thought into what they play in their eateries. And according to Nation’s Restaurant News, if they aren’t thinking about music, they should be.

In a recent post about music’s role in restaurant design, author Mark Brandau details the different ways sound influences sales, how different times of the day call for their own soundtrack and how restaurants cater to certain clientele. Here are a few “notes” to keep in mind the next time you need to pick a restaurant:

It’s someone’s job to craft playlists. Eateries hire experts to build music playlists for different times of the day. Says the Senior Vice President of Quaker Steak & Lube, “Energetic, up-tempo songs encourage quick dining and faster table turns at peak periods.” These paid-for playlists don’t include commercials and need to be scored so there’s enough variety to avoid repeating songs.

What you hear at lunch won’t be what you hear at dinner. And what you hear after dinner will be something entirely different. If a restaurant’s goal is to increase late-night traffic, music is crucial to creating the atmosphere.

Music builds brands. Nick Vojnovic, president of four-unit, fast-casual chain Little Greek, had been in the business 20 years before realizing how crucial music is to the restaurant experience after listening to an executive from The Cheesecake Factory speak about using music to strengthen brand identity.

Where have you heard that before? Restaurants may be using the same music providers. Ambiance Radio provides playlists for Little Greek, in Florida, and also Schlotzsky’s and Union Square Café, in New York City. Vojnovic, who started his career at Chili’s, revealed that years ago, instrumental tapes of background music were changed only once per quarter.

Music helps restaurants choose diners. Brandau explains that some restaurants prefer to pump up the volume, not to alienate certain groups of customers, but to stay true to their core guest. If college kids are a restaurant’s prime demographic, the establishment may deliberately play music older crowds deem uninviting.

See also:
13 Ways Your Restaurant May Be Using Technology to Woo You
20 Secrets to Career Success for Budding Entrepreneurs from Restaurant Owners
Understanding the Restaurant Rating Guides: Michelin and Zagat

Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

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