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The music you play in your restaurant can have a huge impact on your diners—how they feel, what they order, and how much they pay and tip.
There are now companies that offer personalized music for your restaurant, taking into account everything from demographics and psychographics to traffic patterns.
Restaurants can use the music they play to meet their own needs.
In the early evening, the music selection can encourage diners to move through so the restaurant can turn tables; as the evening progresses, it can encourage consumers to linger over dinner and order dessert and after-dinner drinks.
Ambiance Radio is easily implemented. First, you meet with the company’s team to provide information about customer demographics, ambiance, the restaurant’s energy, says Bradley Newberger, the company’s president and co-founder.
This information is fed into a computer, and it creates a music feed from hundreds of thousands of songs. This music will vary from hour to hour, day to day to create the right mood for the restaurant. The songs never play in the same order twice.
An important factor for restaurants is how music affects the morale and attitudes of its servers.
“If music is on a loop … [it will] … create a negative mood, and that will have an effect when the server is interacting with the guest,” Newberger says. “With diverse music, they will be happier on a day-to-day basis, which translates into happier guests, which translates into higher top-line results.”
Another service comes from Prescriptive Music, which offers playlists that typically consist of 300 to 500 songs.
“There are often four to five playlists to the day—lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late night,” says founder Allen Klevens. But the company’s database, he adds, has more than a million songs, with more being added constantly.
He views music as essential to restaurants.
“Customers are more likely to come back when a restaurant successfully evokes all five senses. When you dine at a restaurant, you are immediately hit with three of the senses: sight, taste and smell,” he says.
“Tapping into the sound sense creates a complete experience for the guest. People are universally drawn to music because it offers a method of communication rooted in memories, emotions and moods, more effective and powerful than words.”
Prescriptive Music has different tiers of services, but most customers choose the custom music programming option. The subscription fee ranges from $40 to $150 per month.
Using Custom Channels is like having your own radio station—just one you can control if you wish.
Through this company, operators can be as hands-on or as hands-off as they like with picking the music that’s played in their restaurant.
“Sometimes [operators] don’t know the sound they’re trying to achieve, so we talk to them about their energy, atmosphere, demographics, etc.,” says David Rahn, Custom Channel’s president. “We can have something for them within a couple of days. We also then look for feedback from them and can make changes to it.”
The customized channels start at $500 per month, but the company is looking to create other options to provide more value for independent operators or small chains.