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Best Restaurant Music Service: How to Choose the Ideal Playlist

A restaurant full to capacity

Best Restaurant Music Service: Even if you have the best food on the block, you will lose customers to competitors that have a better playlist than you do. Yes, you are losing hangry diners to other restaurants that can soothe the beast in their belly with mediocre food, but great music. If that doesn’t make you angry, your restaurant is doomed to fail.

What makes a good restaurant music service? Is it the quality of its sound? The diversity of genres? The number of songs available?

The best restaurant music service is the one that knows how to create a pleasant atmosphere. It is also the one that has a variety of songs for different customer moods.

In this article, we will talk about how to pick and build great playlists for restaurants from the best service providers.

Why You Should Invest In Restaurant Music

It’s simple really. When diners first step into your establishment, they have yet to taste your food. Music is the first and also the strongest sensory indicator that can increase their expectations. However, a playlist can also have the opposite effect if the songs are inappropriate or just plain boring.

Think about it. You don’t just go to a restaurant to eat. You go there to soak in the ambiance and relax. A visit should be a spa day for the senses. The taste of the food, the kindness of the server, the aroma coming from the other tables, and the music – all should come together to create a cohesive brand in the minds of the diner.

Naturally, the more cohesive the ambiance, the more sales you get. This is based on fact and research. According to a study, playing music that fits an eatery’s brand identity makes customers happier. Music that fit the brand compelled diners to buy more items off the menu. Happy customers equate to more sales. It’s a simple yet highly efficient formula for success.

Top Tips on Choosing the Best Restaurant Music

Before you hook up your personal playlist to the stereo system, check out these tips on choosing the best restaurant music for your establishment:

Check Out Licensing Rights and Charges

Hate to burst your bubble, but even if you have an account on Pandora or SoundCloud, you cannot stream your playlists over your restaurant’s speakers. You need to pay a performing rights organization (PRO) to do so legally. If you play that music without paying the licensing fee, you can expect hefty fines. This can amount to $15,000 per song so this is something you should avoid at all costs.

A restaurant lit by neon lights

It’s understandable if you think about it. If Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop it like it’s Hot’ is attracting more people into your restaurant, you are basically profiting off his hard work.

There are two main PROs that you need to pay to use your personal playlists in your restaurant – the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc (BMI). The licensing fee you owe will depend on several factors.

This includes the size of your establishment and the number of days you play music there. You may not have to pay if your restaurant is tiny, but make sure you find out to avoid future legal issues.

Take In the Environment

Can you imagine listening to ‘Cake by the Ocean’ by DNCE in a fine dining establishment? A sports bar will have a different soundtrack than say, a Michelin star French restaurant. So if you want to transport your diners to Paris while they dine on buttery escargot, consider playing classical tunes that boast a string quartet.

Similarly, diners who flock to your restaurant because you have the best burgers in town, may enjoy hip tunes from the 80s and 90s. In other words, make sure that you think about the environment you want to project to your guests before choosing your restaurant music.

Change Tunes According To the Time of Day

Breakfast diners may be in a chipper mood compared to those who rush in for lunch. Make sure you change the playlist accordingly. Stick to fun and light tunes for the latter and soothing ones for the former. People usually spend less time on lunch since they have to run back to work right after.

When the happy hour comes around, switch to lively music that can maintain a hip and fun atmosphere. It will encourage customers to stay right up till dinner time. At that point, change the music to the kind of ambiance you wish to match. Your choice should depend on the type of customers you have, and the vibe they are giving off.

In most cases, jazz and a classic rock hit the right notes. These songs usually compel diners to get on the dance floor and show their moves which makes them hungry. Win win!

If your restaurant remains open late, keep those customers engaged by switching to upbeat tunes till you are ready to close up.

Choose the Best Restaurant Music Service to Get More Money in That Register

While you can make your own playlist and pay PROs for licensing rights to play them, you can also opt for music services that cater to restaurants. You just need to pay a subscription fee to use their music without incurring licensing issues.

The background music you choose for your restaurant should soothe and titillate appetites simultaneously. Here are some articles you can take inspiration from:

Therapy Waiting Room Music

Best Background Music for Retail Shops and Stores 

Music for Supermarkets Compilation