Music for Restaurants: How to Make Clients Stay Longer

Musica per ristoranti: il ritmo

We couldn’t leave out an in-depth study by Millimanone of the pioneers who studied the effect of music in restaurants. Having analysed the optimal listening volume, a fundamental element that creates the atmosphere and influences the perception of a brand, now is the time to linger more on what enchants people during their stay in a restaurant, and how.

The effects of background music on restaurant clients

It was discovered that variations in tempo and rhythm during the diffusion of music can influence the length of stay within the restaurant and, more generally, the sales dimension. Specifically:

in purchasing decisions, consumers are influenced by numerous factors that distance themselves from the product or service offered. The atmosphere we perceive in a given environment is the element that emotionally shapes our purchasing decisions and influences those decisions more than the products themselves do.

One of the variables that, more than all the others, informs the atmosphere and promotes sentimentality is music, which varies according to the volume (loud or quiet), the rhythm (fast or slow), the genre (jazz, pop, classical…).

People prefer music to silence

Music intervenes positively in people’s state of mind. Every study on the subject demonstrates this, as they all demonise the absence of music as a harmful factor worse than all other conditions. Volume, genre, rhythm, and style take the backseat to the lack of background music that accompanies a guest or client during their journey or stay in an environment.

Slow rhythm = more relaxed clients

This equation means that people stay longer and more willfully in a given environment when the rhythm is slow.

As a result:

the length of a client’s stay translates into higher volume of sales.

The results of the research on the influence of rhythm on a purchasing experience coincide both in the case of a crowded shopping mall and in an upscale restaurant.

Unless you manage a fast food restaurant, relaxation is fundamental

Background music influences clients’ speed during a lunch or dinner and the turnaround time for tables. It may seem counterintuitive, but the longer clients stay at a table, the more likely they are to consume food and drinks and return another time (customer loyalty).

Because background music:

  • is an environmental variable that distinguishes the restaurant’s atmosphere
  • creates a more relaxed environment which stimulates food and drink consumption
  • creates the conditions that people expect in a high-quality restaurant
  • promotes positive feedback and word of mouth

Slow background music stimulates higher consumption of food and drinks and promotes client return

Slow does not mean lacking energy

Be careful not to fall in a trap. Too often, I hear characteristics of a whole other genre associated with slow music. Rather, a slow rhythm can be full of vigor, passion, lively, positive, joyful. There are fast songs that are gloomy, sad, which pull at your heartstrings, and slow tracks that are vibrant and full of energy.

Objectives and Strategies

As always, I stress the fact that:

music must follow a mindful choice, determined by strategies that are put in place after, and only after, having defined the objectives.

The mindful selection of music for restaurants allows you to improve your business in terms of revenue, quality of service, and positive reviews. It opens the possibility for you to follow your clients outside of the point of sale and promote their return…as long as there is a professional who shows you the guiding path to follow and who meets you halfway.

Marco Solforetti