When most people think about what it takes to run a successful restaurant, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the menu. If the food isn’t good, nothing else matters. However, as any successful restaurateur will tell you, food is only part of the equation. While it’s definitely an important part, many other factors play a valuable role in the overall success of a restaurant, not the least of which is the playlist you choose for your restaurant sound system.
WHY YOUR RESTAURANT SOUND SYSTEM'S PLAYLIST MUST FIT YOUR BRAND
Taking the time to choose a high-quality restaurant sound system is vital for the success of your establishment. The background music played in your restaurant will be an extension of your brand's personality, and will set the tone for the dining experience for your customers. It’s important that you make the right decision about the music your sound system will actually play.
For example, in one study, “Effects of Brand-Fit Music on Consumer Behavior”, researchers tested three different types of playlists:
- #1 No Brand-Fit: Music that was played based on employees’ preferences
- #2 Brand Fit A: Music that was a brand-fit but limited to Spotify’s Top 1,000 Songs
- #3 Brand Fit B: Music that was a brand-fit from Spotify’s entire library of more than 40,000,000 songs
When companies went with the first option, they actually saw sales drop by 4.3%, proving just how powerful music is to the buying process. Those that deployed the second option saw sales increase but only by 1.2%.
Companies that were allowed the third option actually enjoyed 4x those results, bringing in 4.8% more sales with just that one change. Imagine seeing sales increase by almost 5% simply by playing the right music in your restaurant and nothing more.
DOWNLOAD OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DESIGNING AUDIO FOR YOUR RESTAURANT.
CUSTOMER FIT vs. OPERATIONAL FIT
When thinking about the right playlist for your restaurant, there are two important aspects you will want to consider:
- Customer Fit: This refers to the actual songs you’ll play. One way to arrive at the best answer is to imagine your restaurant as a person. What would that person want to listen to?
- Operational Fit: You also need to think about how best your music can help improve your business. What time of day should certain songs play? One playlist might work better for the breakfast crowd while another would do best at dinner. Different playlists may even be required for different days of the week.
These two vital considerations will go a long way toward helping you pick a playlist that fits your unique restaurant perfectly.
USE DATA DRIVEN SOLUTIONS OVER PERSONAL PREFERENCES
Once you’ve established what type of music best fits your brand, the natural next step is to begin playing it.
Careful, though: it’s easy to associate your preferences with those of your customers. After all, your restaurant probably reflects your own personal style in more than one way, so it would make sense that your favorite music might make a good fit.
While many of the songs you choose would probably be perfect for your establishment, some would most likely suit your customers better than others. There are probably a number of other songs out there that you don’t even know about, but that your diners would adore. That’s why you should fuel your restaurant sound system with a streaming service that utilizes machine-learning. In short, these streaming services can be connected to other customer behaviors that reflect desired KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your restaurant. For example, your initial playlist could be improved by providing your streaming service with information about sales or table-turnover rate throughout the day.
In this way, commercial streaming services are very similar to the kind meant for consumers. Based on feedback, it will decide which songs to keep playing, which to permanently take out of rotation, and which new songs should be added to the list based on the other two data-points. You have to start somewhere with the content your restaurant sound system plays.
AVOID HANDING OVER CONTROL OF YOUR BRAND
When you don't have a planned playlist in place that reflects your brand tone, often times employees are free to choose the music at your establishment. More often than not, that music will not reflect your brand and could negatively impact a customer experience. When you don't have a playlist set-up, you are essentially handing over control of your brand to employees by allowing them to choose music.
LICENSING: DON'T LET YOUR RESTAURANT SOUND SYSTEM BECOME A LIABILITY
There’s another reason it pays to use a commercial streaming service for your music: because you’ll be paying a lot more if you’re caught playing music illegally. This is a growing problem for the music industry, with only 17% of all small businesses reporting that they legally stream music. It’s also an expensive one, costing music companies $2.65 billion a year.
So, it should come as no surprise that it’s also a problem the industry is actively working to tackle. For years now, companies like BMI, ASCAP, and others have even sent scouts into towns to seek out restaurants that illegally play music. Resulting lawsuits can easily run into the tens-of-thousands of dollars. Some establishments have even gone out of business for being unable to afford a settlement.
THE RIGHT PLAYLIST FOR YOUR RESTAURANT SOUND SYSTEM IS ESSENTIAL
As we covered above, having a high-quality restaurant sound system won’t do much – or could even do more harm than good – if you don’t pair it with a brand-fit playlist. The good news is that doing so has never been easier. Thanks to commercial streaming services, you can easily leverage machine-learning to refine the playlist you choose based on your restaurant’s unique brand.
Outsource this essential task to technology and you’ll soon enjoy greater customer satisfaction and a better bottom-line for the rest of your establishment’s tenure.