Music Drives Restaurant Success

Imagine walking onto what you would expect to be an upbeat patio only to be welcomed by silence. Awkward, right? Music is an emotionally-rooted medium that draws on nostalgia and emotion to set a comfortable ambiance. And when it’s not there, customers notice.

Whether looking to experience authentic Indian food, a rowdy Irish pub, or a romantic dinner, the music a restaurant plays is integral to a patron’s overall experience. And there are clear business benefits to doing so.

SOCAN has done research on the value and importance of music, asking Canadians how the music being played in an establishment impacted their experience. The results? Music has a substantially positive impact on dining.

While it can be difficult to quantify the benefit that music has on business, this doesn’t mean it’s not playing a vital role. It’s challenging to measure the direct impact that air-conditioning has on the customer experience during the summer months, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that wants to let their customers sweat!

Here are three easy ways to evaluate your restaurant’s use of music:

  1. Make sure the music you are playing aligns with your restaurant brand as well as the needs and expectations of your diners.

Is the music in the dining room too loud to encourage conversation? Do you have music playing in the front of the restaurant where customers are waiting to be seated? Does the vibe of the music fit the food you’re serving or the ambiance you are trying to create?

  1. Take into account summer events that have brought visitors to the area and use them to inspire your music selection.

Is there a concert or festival taking place that many of your customers are attending? Is there a local sporting event that could serve as inspiration for song selections?

  1. Ask your staff their opinion, and be open to their feedback.

Have you asked your staff what they’d like to hear? Have they gathered anecdotal feedback from customers suggesting they’d like to change the soundtrack to their meal?

So no matter what type of food your serving, whether your establishment is one for fine-dining or quick takeout, always consider what you’re playing. Is it already a perfect recipe, or do you need to tweak it to better drive overall business success?

For more information on how to use music the right way in your restaurant, visit


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