Autor: Alberto José Aguirre
We have all experienced that strange thing in sit down restaurant with a noise that scratches our heads and the one that has the volume at the exact point; with a perfect atmosphere that invites us to wait because something great will happen. That is the music thin line where you can feel in a bad mood or the up mood because you feel that you arrived at the place or moment you were waiting for.
The smells, the tastes and the sounds have a very strong power in our brain, because they help us to create new memories or to remember some that had a strong impact when we experienced them for the first time. Normally when you visit a restaurant the smells and flavors are stimulated after a while, but the sound and mood of the other guests is present from the entrance, predetermining their attitude towards everything that is about to happen. Now if you are a proudly South American person, raised in a province like me, with strong North American influence and grew up in the 80’s or 90’s, there is a wide cheerful musical portfolio, which can improve your day.
What I want to say is that you may not have control of many things in life, but the playlist in your restaurant is key and it is your responsibility to invite the customer to have a good attitude in your place. Music is very similar to food and drink, you must have a clear idea of what you want and who the customers are going to be; It’s like defining what energy you want to put into the dining room.
Something that caught my attention is when the person in charge does it without professional help, without previous experience and / or without musical training they end up choosing many genres that are very nostalgic and may not generate adequate energy in a dining room, it is as if the music did not have the rhythm behind to rotate the tables. The best example is when they delegate the task to a waiter who likes vallenato and he gives to play that song of cut me the veins where she left me.
In a restaurant you want to have peaks and valleys that reflect the average time of a person’s visit to dinner, so every so often you must increase the energy of the place according to those peaks of visits and finish those cycles at a point that invites the client to keep doing things at the time of dessert. If the restaurant does not operate until late at night the music can go down at the end of the shift in a massive way to a super cold and relaxed state, the cold music makes people want to leave.
WHAT EXPERTS RECOMMEND
See and hear: every time you enter a new playlist it is important to see if customers move their heads, hit their feet and confirm if this is repeated throughout the dining room. Also collecting music reviews with the staff especially with the youngest ones is relevant because normally being one of their first jobs they pay more attention to details, they spend most of their time in the dining room and can give you an idea of how people feel.
During the day: it depends on your restaurant style, but at noon, the funniest melodies are usually the best. People often have lively conversations during lunch, so the music should be set in the atmosphere of the restaurant, without being overwhelming and interfering with conversation and meals.
After Office: when people leave work, they usually socialize with co-workers with a few drinks and something small to eat. Playlists can greatly contribute to the restaurant’s environment. Try some animated instrumental songs or new independent melodies for a modern and fun environment. At this point, the energy of the customers is increasing, but it is not a party.
Dinner: Depending on your restaurant, jazz or classic rock playlists are often excellent selections during dinner. You want people to relate to music, but that does not appropriate the environment. Most importantly, music must always cater to the image and demographics of the restaurant’s customer.
Late at night: for the happy hours of the night or for late dinner, you can generally animate the scene a bit with stronger and more lively songs. Be guided by the current rumba and if you can let your customers interact with your music but from their smartphones (within your custom configurations, of course).
Think about the surfaces of the place: a music curator taught me that when selecting songs consider the shape and surfaces of the dining room. Hi-fi songs produced before the 1960s can create a hollow sound in an open space, and trumpets and metal often bounce off hard surfaces.