Today’s restaurants put a lot of thought into cultivating their menus, décor, wine lists and service. They aim to create a certain atmosphere to draw in and keep their target customers returning again and again. However, oftentimes they don’t give the same thought to the types of music and/or announcements they play. And they may be missing out on a great opportunity (or even unknowingly hurting their business).

In many types of restaurants, music can be used for a variety of reasons. It can help encourage guests to eat faster for higher table turnover, or linger a bit longer to maybe get a few dessert sales. It can also be a great overall enhancement to the atmosphere, accompanying the food in new, inventive ways. It all depends on the needs of that particular restaurant.

From fast food to fine dining, clearly not all varieties of restaurants have the same target clientele or the same goals. Considering that fact, they shouldn’t all use audio in the same way.

So, how should each style of restaurant think about using music or in-store audio to their advantage? What styles should they consider, and how will it impact their guests?

Think About The Customer

Before going into too much detail about the general in-store music and audio types that each restaurant style may benefit from, it’s important to take a step back and think about the larger question at hand. Who is the target audience a particular restaurant wants sitting at one of their tables? A family? A business person bringing in clients for lunch or dinner? A quick grab-and-go breakfast eater? Before even pressing play on any sort of playlist or announcement, think about whom the audio should be targeted towards.

After that, think about the behavior desired from the guest and the experience they are looking to have. How quickly, or slowly, does the restaurant want the guest to eat? Is the guest coming in for a quiet evening or to have some drinks and maybe get a little loud himself? Taking all of these things into consideration before thinking about the playlist or audio is absolutely key.

Fast-Food/Fast-Casual Restaurants

Fast-food restaurants are just that—fast food. These are quick turnover types of places where too much lingering—particularly during peak hours—may not be desired. So, these types of places should think about playing upbeat and quick tempo soundtracks. In addition, this is the type of restaurant where in-store announcement services could be very beneficial. A special promotion or partnership announced at a regular interval, due to the likely turnover, would capture the attention of guests in the restaurant and serve to increase sales later on. Read about how a Dairy Queen location increased event registrations by using announcements to advertise a Valentine’s Day dinner.

Family-Style Restaurants

Once again, the style and audience is right there in the name—family. At this point, there is a new factor to consider. This is likely a family coming out to spend some time together over a meal. Keeping the music happy, but all-ages appropriate is critical. For example, some low-key classic rock or even something more contemporary is likely a good fit. This is another place where in-store announcements could add value, however the frequency would need to be lowered because these customers are spending more time at their tables than a fast-food customer and wouldn’t appreciate hearing the same announcement twice.

Fine Dining

When it comes to fine dining, the atmosphere can make or break the entire experience.  This guest is likely coming in for a quiet dinner and conversation. They want the focus to be on the food, the wine, and the company—not the lyrics of the latest pop song. Some may say, “if the music has to be understated, why play it at all?” Well, imagine having nothing to say to a dinner date and literally siting in silence? Or, worse, being forced to listen to them chew unencumbered? This would be the perfect place for some classical jazz or other instrumental music that is non-intrusive, but still pleasant enough to enhance the overall experience.

All-in-all, music can be an amazing accompaniment to nearly any eating establishment. But, as with any sort of marketing or targeted method of bringing people in the door, think about the customer and their desired experience first and foremost. After that, the rest comes much easier.

Interested in learning more? Request a demo of  Vibenomics today and learn how you can start creating on-brand music and messaging for your in-store customers.