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Why Adding Music to Your Restaurant is a Smart Business Move

Do you remember the last time you visited a restaurant without music playing in the background?

Neither do we.

Music is such a staple in the restaurant industry we don’t even realize it’s there until it isn’t. Good background music for restaurants can be incredibly effective in affecting our mood. When you hear music you like, you’ll want to stay where you are just that little bit longer. If the music is bad (or worse, not there at all), you might feel uncomfortable to the point of leaving. It’s that powerful.

As Danny Turner – Global SVP of Creative Programming at Mood Media puts it:
“Music establishes your energy level. It makes your guests and customers comfortable. In a restaurant space, it could provide a soundtrack that is in cadence with human conversation and helps avoid those uncomfortable silences. It masks noise from the kitchen or even the table next to you, or it may trigger a shared fond memory or a celebratory moment amongst a group of friends at a bar.”

Keep reading to find answers to the most essential questions around choosing the best background music for restaurants in order to offer your diners a restaurant experience they’ll surely want to repeat.

How much is a music license for a restaurant?

As a restaurant owner, you may be wondering how much it costs to obtain a music license for your establishment. While the cost of a music license varies depending on several factors, such as the size of your restaurant, the number of speakers you have, and the type of music you want to play, we can provide some general information to help you better understand the cost involved.

The cost of a music license for a restaurant depends on whether you want to play copyrighted music or non-copyrighted music. If you plan on playing copyrighted music, you will need to obtain a license from one of the performing rights organizations (PROs) such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. These organizations represent the rights of music creators and allow you to legally play their music in your establishment. The cost of a music license from these organizations typically ranges from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars per year, depending on the size of your restaurant and the number of speakers you have.

If you want to avoid the legal headaches involved with obtaining the proper rights, it may be best to contact a professional music provider to help handle your music licensing needs. The cost of a music license is a small price to pay for the benefits that music can bring to your business. And with a professional provider, you can easily develop a playlist that reflects your brand identity, creating a pleasant atmosphere for your guests, and encouraging them to stay longer.

How to Choose the Right Background Music for Restaurants

As a restaurant owner, choosing the right music for your establishment is essential to create the perfect ambiance for your guests. However, with so many genres and styles of music available, it can be challenging to determine which kind of music is best for your restaurant. Let’s explore some of the most popular types of music for restaurants and the factors to consider when choosing the best music for your business.

First and foremost, it’s essential to choose music that matches the style and theme of your restaurant. Be sure to choose a genre that supports your brand identity.

Another important factor to consider when choosing restaurant music is the volume. While music can enhance the dining experience, it should never be so loud that it becomes a distraction or makes it difficult for guests to carry on a conversation.

Additionally, the tempo of the music should be appropriate for the time of day. For example, during lunchtime, it’s best to play calming and relaxing music, while during dinner service, you may want to increase the tempo to create a more energetic atmosphere.

Let’s take a look at a few genres of music you can play in your restaurant and what it might convey to your customers.

1. Contemporary Pop

Contemporary Pop is a wide-ranging genre made to appeal to a large audience. This genre is commonly used as music for restaurants because it is full of recognizable songs, artists, and production qualities that easily engage customers.

Despite the name, programs in the Contemporary Pop genre might weave in interesting songs that aren’t necessarily familiar, further developing qualities found in other Pop songs in order to support music discovery and add depth to a background music program.

With apps like Shazam and Soundhound, it’s easy to find the name of a song and artist you may not know. And that joy of discovery can have a positive impact on a customer’s view of your brand.

2. Classics/Decades

Designed to have a lasting and timeless appeal, the Classic genre is especially among brands seeking to engage older generations. This genre is sometimes referred to as Decades because certain programs may focus on a particular span of years like the 1960s and 1970s.

Programs in this genre are widely used, typically with an emphasis on the last thirty years of popular music. Songs older than thirty years are often suited to classic-themed brands and older demographics.

This genre would of course be especially appropriate for a restaurant that has a design theme that tunes into a specific time period, like a 50s-themed diner.

3. Rock

For music programs looking for a rougher edge, Rock is frequently blended with other genres to add energy or attitude to a dining experience, and this genre is usually catered toward a more youthful adult market. The high energy and fast pace of the music could be a great fit for restaurants with little to no seating that rely heavily on quick customer turnover – for instance pizza by the slice or even food trucks.

While some restaurants may prefer to convey a counter-culture or alternative brand focus, Classic rock, on the other hand, can capitalize on feelings of nostalgia for brands looking to reach an older demographic. This style of music is a great fit for breweries and BBQ restaurants where customers are expected to stay a while.

4. Lounge

Mid-tempo Electronica or Lounge music is well established for inviting ambiance, particularly for restaurants with an elevated brand identity. These programs may have a general appeal or more cutting-edge sounds for a focus on progress or discovery.

Electronica and Lounge stations have a traveled and global appeal and in general, tend to resonate with a younger demographic who may find traditional presentations like Jazz & Classical as being reserved and conservative, not luxurious and progressive.

This style is a great fit for restaurants that cater toward the night-life clientele or restaurants in or around hotels that cater toward travelers looking for a trendy experience without straying too far into the city.

5. Hip Hop

Hip Hop is for energetic environments and brands with few lyrical content restrictions. Classic Hip Hop is suited to a wide age range, influencing current artists from all musical genres.

Current Hip Hop is more common among restaurants catering toward a youthful crowd. For brands who are socially aware and reflective, the more those traits need to be mirrored by the music. Businesses that want to create a high-energy, trendy atmosphere like bars and nightclubs are obvious fits for this style of music. Hip Hop is also a good choice for restaurants who simply want to stand out from the crowd and play a genre that isn’t seen as often in a dine-in setting.

Why is Music for Restaurants Important?

Playing music in your restaurant has many benefits for you as a business owner, your customers, and even your employees. Here are a few reasons why music for your restaurant is important to your business.

1 Maximize the Customer Experience

One of the most obvious advantages of background restaurant music is that it enhances the customer experience. When customers walk into your restaurant, they expect a certain ambiance, and music plays a huge role in creating that atmosphere. The right music can set the tone for the entire dining experience and make customers feel more comfortable and at ease.

“Music literally establishes the tone of the experience from the moment your customer walks through the door. They hear the music long before they get to sufficiently form an opinion about your physical space. The response is immediate and impactful.

– Danny Turner – Global SVP of Creative Programming at Mood Media

In addition to putting diners in a good mood, background music for restaurants can also help to drown out any unwanted noise, such as clanging pots and pans or conversations from other tables. This can make it easier for customers to focus on their own conversations and enjoy their meals without distraction.

2 Increase Sales

Did you know that restaurant background music can actually increase sales? Research has shown that when music is playing, customers tend to spend more time in the establishment and order more food and drinks.

In fact, 1 in 3 global consumers say that music will make them stay longer.

In addition, music can also influence customers’ buying decisions. For example, playing upbeat music can make customers more likely to order a dessert or an after-dinner drink, while slower music can encourage customers to order more food.

3 Sets the Tone for Your Brand

The music you play in your restaurant can also help to set the tone for your brand. For example, if you run a high-end restaurant, you may want to play classical music or jazz to create a more sophisticated atmosphere. On the other hand, if you run a more casual establishment, you may want to play popular music or top 40 hits.

By choosing the right background music for your restaurant, you can help to create a brand image that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from your competitors.

4 Improves Employee Morale

Playing background music in your restaurant can also have a positive impact on your employees. The right playlist can improve mood, boost productivity, and reduce stress in the workplace. By creating a more pleasant and enjoyable environment, you can help to improve employee morale and job satisfaction.

In addition, playing music can also help to create a sense of camaraderie among employees. When everyone is enjoying the same music, it can create a sense of unity and teamwork that can improve overall job performance.

5 Helps to Manage Customer Flow

Background music for restaurants can also be used to help manage customer flow in your business. By playing different types of music at various times of day, you can create a sense of rhythm and flow that can help to manage the ebb and flow of customers.

For example, you may want to play more upbeat music during busy times to encourage customers to eat and leave more quickly. On the other hand, you may want to play slower background music during slower times to encourage customers to linger and enjoy their meals.

The idea of using different styles of music throughout the day to affect listeners is known as Stimulus Progression. This concept was pioneered in the 1950s by Muzak, one of the first, and arguably most well-known background music companies in the world.

6 Easy and Cost-Effective

One of the best things about adding background music to your restaurant is that it’s easy and cost-effective. With affordable background music providers like Mood Media, it’s never been easier to create a custom playlist for your restaurant. And since most streaming services offer affordable subscription plans, you can add background music for restaurants to your establishment without breaking the bank. Playing music can also save you money in other areas. For example, if you play music at a reasonable volume, you may be able to save money on soundproofing or insulation.

The Bottom Line

By now you can see that adding music to your restaurant can have a multitude of benefits. From enhancing the dining experience to increasing sales and improving how your customers see your brand, getting the right music for your restaurant is critical to your success.

If you’re ready to implement background music for restaurants designed for your brand that draws in the kind of customers you want and is sure to get results, just click the link below and let’s get started.