The Psychology of Restaurant Music

These days a lot of restaurants include background music to “entertain” their customers, “Enhance their experience.” But if you take a closer look and judge, most of these entertainments are wrong. A lot of effort was given to create the menu, wine list, service, and whatnot. Then why not include background music as well, our rivals have it! And so, music too becomes a part, but sadly not much thought is given to it.

Are these restaurateurs overlooking something important?

But what significance does music for a restaurant? A lot. Choosing the right music can have a great impact on your sales. It has been proven that correctly decided music can enhance and deepen the flavors of the food, create an ambiance to accompany it, influence people regarding menu choices, and even make then eat faster.

This makes it common sense that music should be chosen according to your provided menu and what you look to achieve with it. Even having no music can help in certain circumstances.

Fine Dining Restaurant Music

Take fine diners for example. They should focus on instrumental music. If they have upbeat or lively music that tend to have higher volume, the whole point of fine dining jumps out of the window. Such music distracts diners in conversations and negatively affect the experience. When people enter a fine restaurant, they come as much to have a good time for the food. Research from the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford, people associate higher music notes like pianos and flutes with enhanced sweetness. Similarly, deeper and more resonant notes go together with bitterness. On that note, some of the top-quality restaurants avoid music entirely. This is what clever means. Usually, the diners of these places, come to savor the food, and music at times can distract you from that great pleasure.

Just like that, restaurants that prioritize profit over dining experience or have many customers coming in need a different approach. They often choose fast tempo music, which subconsciously makes the people eat faster but they still think they spent enough time. Consequently, this type of music reduces the appetite for both food and drinks. Loud and fast music leads to fewer drinks and food being consumed. You feel “rushed.” Think about it, why don’t you feel a bit hungry when placed in a threatening situation.

Adequate Music is Important

Places that play loud music tend to lose control of volume management. This can not only ruin the food and wine but just as well disrupt thoughts, emotions, and especially conversations. Everything should be done in moderation. If the music is loud enough that people need to strain their voice to converse, kill the mood. Then there is music with lyrics. Honestly, would anyone want to listen about some singer’s love life (almost every song today) when they eat?

For people that like quiet when eating, music can cover for the lack of conversation. Still, restaurants need to give more thought to music. Music loudness should be relative to crowd number and noise. What use is having loud music with only a few customers around? Because there are no people, the customers will perceive it as even higher noise. During peak hours that same loudness will become insignificant, from all the noises people make. Do restaurateurs need to think of Why? When? And How? Before they integrate music into their diners.