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The Role Music Plays In Restaurants

Quaker Steak & Lube, more popularly known as “The Lube,” took this cue and now intends to integrate music as a key detail in its design plans for the development of its more than 40 restaurants.  They hope to offer the right atmosphere to its diners, influencing the way they feel when they’re inside the restaurants, and encouraging them to ask for a menu in its chic menu holder once again, and spend more.

“Good musical arrangement can impact sales, and such buzz word got our attention,” said Bob Mentrek, The Lubes’ senior vice president of promotions and marketing in Sharon. Pennsylvania.  “People become more relaxed, and have a calmer frame of mind, getting them to order and spend more.”

It turns out that different day parts require different playlists.  The restaurant signed up experts to come up with song playlists for different day parts – energetic, upbeat songs encourage quick dining and speedier table turns, thus ideal during peak periods.  Lunch, dinner and late nights will have different kinds of music.

Three thousand miles away, separate but related news came up.

The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail reported about recent research results which showed that classical music makes diners spend more, as they feel more affluent while listening to the sound.  This, as opposed to listening to the less sophisticated sounds of pop music, where customers spend ten percent less on their food.

University of Leicester researchers discovered that classical music, often associated with affluence, turned out to be the most effective way to incite guests to order more.  When there is no music in the background, the amount of cash spent by customers was considerably less.

The tests were done for three weeks, where researchers played classical and pop music in a restaurant and observed customers’ spending patterns.   They also checked the pattern if there is no music at all.

It was observed that diners spent more than £24 per person for food and drinks when fine classical music was played.  When pop music is in the air, the bill turned out lower than £22 per head.  When there is no background music at all, the expense fell to only £21.70.

“Different types of music have different connotations,” said Dr. Adrian North, University of Leicester senior lecturer in Psychology. “If you listen to classical music, you associate it with wealth, sophistication and affluence, and it allows one to feel posh.  In dining places, this makes one look into the menu with its lovely menu holder once again, and spends more money on ‘indulgence’ items like coffees, starters and desserts.”

“The music that you play at restaurants truly has an effect on the diners’ moods,” said James Davis, owner of Softleys Restaurant in Market Bosworth, where the study took place.  “You’ll be amazed at how music sets and form an atmosphere in the restaurant.  Most restaurant operators sometimes play their personal favorites rather than what the customers like and I guess this results will somehow influence what type of music we should play in the forthcoming days.”