Restaurant Customers Prefer Silence to Top 40 While Eating

The Impact of Restaurant Music

If you own a restaurant, there’s a good chance you have some music playing in the background for diners to enjoy while they sample your cuisine. But did you know that if you simply play a collection of top 40 hits in your restaurant, you might as well be playing nothing at all?

That’s the focus of a recent study by Soundtrack Your Brand, a consulting firm based in Sweden that helps companies create customized playlists. The company’s study tested four different types of background sound in select restaurants in Sweden. The four types of background sound included:

  • A selection of 100 popular songs and 260 more obscure songs that fit with the restaurant’s image
  • A selection of 360 popular songs that fit with the restaurant’s image
  • A selection of 360 popular songs with no consideration for the restaurant’s image
  • Silence

The Impact of Restaurant Music

Then the company analyzed sales from those restaurants to see if the music choice had any impact on customer behavior.

Overall, it seems that restaurant customers prefer when there’s a selection of music that includes some lesser-known songs and is curated to a restaurant’s image and theme — and they’re likely to spend more as a result.

And if the songs don’t fit with the restaurant’s brand at all, regardless of how popular they are, then customers actually seem to prefer silence, according to the release.

That’s right. You’d be better off playing nothing than a stream of top 40 hits with no connection to your brand!

Of course, Soundtrack Your Brand — a company partially owned by Spotify — is selling its consulting services to businesses that want to create those curated playlists. So that’s something to consider when weighing these results.

And, of course, the study was only conducted with restaurants in Sweden — so it’s conceivable customers in your region may differ.

But it certainly appears that some care taken while selecting the background music for your business is pretty important — especially if you can choose a playlist in tune with your brand.

And ditch the top 40 playlist. Customers would quite literally rather hear a pin drop. Unless, of course, only diners from Sweden hate Top 40.

Diners Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Restaurant Customers Prefer Silence to Top 40 While Eating” was first published on Small Business Trends

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