How To Choose The Right Music To Increase Restaurant Footfall, Sales & Revenues

how to choose the right background music for your restaurant

There may be several reasons why restaurateurs choose to play music in restaurants. It could be either to enhance the overall dining experience, simply create an engaging atmosphere and ambiance, or for influencing the customer to stay longer. Music is an integral part of providing and elevating an overall dining experience. 

A customer’s dining experience is incomplete without a good choice of background music being played in the restaurant. Astonishingly, a careful selection of background music that fits your restaurant’s personality has a direct impact on the overall sales. A study revealed that selecting the right background music in your restaurant could lift overall restaurant sales by 9.1 percent

This article will guide you on how to choose the right background music for your restaurant and create a better dining experience for your customers. 

How To Choose The Right Background Music For Your Restaurant

To provide an exceptional dining experience, restaurateurs emphasize creating an engineered menu, and a beautifully stylized theme that compliments the essence of the brand. But choosing the right background music for your restaurant also requires serious thought and proper planning. 

The perfect music playlist for your restaurant must align with the theme and format of your restaurant. Music that compliments your restaurant’s style and has an enhancing effect on customers’ dining experience as well. 

Background music restaurant

While choosing the right background music for your restaurant, consider these essential tips. 

Emphasize On The Volume

While you decide on the playlist and musical genre, don’t forget the volume levels. The volume of your restaurant music is an essential element that can have wide-ranging consequences. A study revealed that the volume of music affects the food choices of the consumers and might have an influence on overall sales. It has a substantial impact on customers’ well being and appetite. 

For family restaurants, louder music will tend to have a negative impact. In contrast, low volume music playing in the bar would tend to add a monotonous tone to the otherwise lively environment. While loud music is suitable for increasing table turnover rates for restaurant concepts like QSR and ideal for cafes and bars that attract a broad audience, some restaurants and bars tend to play their music way too loud. Obnoxiously loud music playing in the restaurant is a significant mood spoiler and makes it impossible for the customers to indulge in a conversation. 

Ideally, a noise level under 70 decibels in the restaurant is pleasant to the ears and ideal for conversations. Strike a balance while deciding the volume levels of music in your restaurant and create a positive experience for your customers. 

Analyze The Target Audience

To select the right background music for your restaurant, examine your target audience. Consider the customer demographics, income levels, and music preferences of your customers. If your restaurant attracts older patrons, a choice of loud and fast music genres like rock, jazz, rap will likely drive them away.

Although a restaurant’s offerings and style is mainly responsible for drawing a specific set of audience, the music you choose to play in your restaurant should serve the demographic your restaurant attracts the most. Choose a music style or genre that resonates with the interests of your customers and complements their experience with your brand. 

Obtain The Music Licensing Rights

Playing background music in your restaurant is an excellent way of attracting customers but involves legal permissions and licenses that must be taken care of. Before playing background music in your restaurant, obtain all the essential permits and legal consent to avoid any legal penalties or potential losses. It will also help you avoid any copyright violation issues, which may, hamper your brand’s image or lead to a shutdown. 

To know more details about Music Licenses Required in restaurants in India, read this article.

Choosing The Right Background Music According To The Restaurant Formats

The type of music you choose for your restaurant depends largely on the theme and restaurant type. A fine dining restaurant’s choice of background music would be entirely different than a lively cafe & bar. Therefore, you must choose a music genre that fits well with your restaurant’s format. 

How to choose the right background music

A categorization of background music according to the different restaurant formats follows below.

1. Fine Dine

Soft music that compliments the elite setting of fine dining restaurants is ideally the perfect music choice. Fine dining establishments usually prefer instrumental or classical music that complements the elegant theme of the restaurant and brings out the exquisiteness of the lavish delights. Opt for soft instrumental melodies that will encourage the diners to stay longer, order more, and indulge in an experiential dine-in.

2. QSRs/ Fast Casual Dining

With an aim to cater to more customers and increase the table turnover rate, QSRs or fast-casual dining restaurants choose fast-paced background music that boosts excitement in the customers and inspires them to eat faster. Suggestive music genres are R&B, pop hits, tropical Latins, progressive house, and hip-hop. 

3. Family Restaurant/ Casual Dine 

In a casual dining establishment, the choice of music and volume levels can make or break the guest’s dining experience. Where an appropriate music selection uplifts the mood, the right selection of volume levels helps in creating a nice buzz. Play a mix of smooth jazz, R&B, country blues, or soft instrumental. Adjust the volume levels so that it is neither too low nor deafening. As casual dining restaurants mostly attract families and large groups, choosing loud music genres like heavy metal, hard rock or electronica would be inappropriate. 

4. Cafe/ Coffee Shop

Music that complements the taste of food not only explains the essence of the brand but also enhances the guest’s experience. If your restaurant is famous for serving Mexican cuisine, a Latin infused playlist will boost the customer’s food cravings. Similarly, for coffee lovers and diners who love to indulge in the taste of sweet delicacies, selecting the right kind of music would elevate their entire experience with the brand. Play an eclectic mix of R&B, indie-pop, contemporary rock tracks that will create a lasting effect on their overall experience. 

5. Bar/ Pub

Restaurant formats like bars and pubs are popular amongst the younger audience for loud gatherings. These restaurant formats can choose music that is more upbeat, loud and features vocals. Fast music with a high tempo increases the excitement levels in customers, and they are likely to order more drinks. Depending on your restaurant concept, you can opt for alternative rock, pop, techno, EDM, jazz, or any combination of music that will add liveliness to the atmosphere. 

A wise choice of restaurant background music has enormous potential to enhance the customer’s experience and generate more revenue. To create a pleasant dining experience for your guests, choose the right music, be careful about the volume and tempo and, play the music that elevates your restaurant brand!

Rating: 5.0/5. From 2 votes.
Please wait...
Nikunj is the Communications Lead at Restroworks, a global leader in cloud-based technology platforms. In his role, he oversees global marketing and branding initiatives for Restroworks across APAC, the Middle East, and the US.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here