RESTAURANT MUSIC – A NEW STRATEGY & PERSPECTIVE
Hard work and challenging times sure have a way of making you hungry. And as society grapples with all of the implications of COVID-19 and a difficult 2020, the human spirit is craving great dining experiences like never before.
Dinner with your spouse at your favorite restaurant or even Sunday brunch with friends can go a long way for healing quarantine cabin fever. Having an hour or two of laughs and politics-free conversation over French toast, eggs benedict and a mimosa is a feast for an anxious soul. Even a quick bento box from a great sushi spot can be just enough to get us through a stressful Wednesday.
That’s one of the beauties of serving in this industry. As a restauranteur, the experiences you create have the potential to make a tremendously positive impact on the world. We say potential, because as you know, it takes more than incredible food to create that type of experience. Especially these days.
The recipe for impact isn’t terribly difficult, though it is a bit different than it was before. The first key ingredient is providing your guests with assurance that your restaurant is safe and following the right safety and social distancing protocol. Though when we talk about assurance, we’re also talking about creating a sense of comfort. We’re talking about catering to human emotion.
That’s where exceptional and empathetic service comes in. Your staff understands what your customers are going through because they’re facing many of the same challenges. Make sure they’re bringing their A++ game to their shifts and focused on creating a dining experience that’s more fun, lively and devoid of stress than ever before. Remember – emotions are contagious, so as a leader it’s your responsibility to instill a positive, empathetic and fun work environment.
So what helps enhance the dining experience, create a sense of comfort for guests and a positive work environment for staff?
THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: MUSIC.
Perhaps it seems like a shameless plug on our part. But considering just how many hundreds of thousands of restaurants we’ve served over the years, it would be irresponsible of us not to discuss just how important your music is today – and why it’s so critical to the dining experience in 2020 and beyond.
Music engages us on an emotional level like nothing else. It has the power to help us through the most challenging times. When we’re not feeling like ourselves, music can make us feel whole again. Food can have the same effect, and when you put them together in your dining experience, that’s when you create lifelong memories associated with your brand.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Right. Music is important. Got it.” But when it comes to program and track selection, there’s more to it if you really want to maximize your impact on guests and staff. Here are some quick guiding principles to help you in the months ahead.
#1: Crank Up The Positivity To 11.
These days it’s more important than ever to put extra emphasis on creating an upbeat environment throughout your business. We strive to foster this principle when working with our clients, whether they’re independent restaurants or large national or regional chains. The key is to aim for tracks with an uplifting sound and message in the genres that appeal to your clientele and sound like your brand (see #2).
Additionally, keep in mind that a lot of guests are on high alert, and they’ll be extra quick to notice content or lyrics that may be inappropriate for your business. Even if you serve clientele who might appreciate edgy content, err on the side of caution and keep your music clean.
#2: Stay True To Your Brand.
Yes, we’re living in challenging times and it’s important that you’re putting extra emphasis on creating a sense of comfort and positivity in the dining experience. While we encourage experimentation, don’t play music that deviates from the brand values and characteristics that make your business unique. Make sure your music exaggerates those key characteristics and provides a familiar experience for returning guests. Make it ring true with your brand personality.
#3: Take Control.
Maybe you haven’t been very hands-on with your music before. Now is the time to change that. Find a professional restaurant music platform that lets you customize and fine tune your playlists to keep your sound fresh. If being a DJ isn’t for you, then let some trusted members of your staff try their hand at playlisting. Talk about an easy way to boost morale and bring even more positivity to your kitchen.
Remember – your guests are counting on you for a fun, refreshing and relaxing experience in which they can put aside the stresses of the outside world for a couple hours. When your music supports that experience, you engage your guests on an emotional level and create positive memories they’ll never forget.
How do you want your restaurant to be remembered?