You spend a significant percentage of your marketing dollars getting customers into your restaurant, but what are you doing once they are there?

A recent survey of 2,101 Americas shows that the right Brand Fit music can boost food and drink sales by 9.1%+ compared to playing random tracks which has the opposite effect.

  • Burgers – 8.6%
  • Sides – 11.1%
  • Deserts – 15.6%

Over the years there’s been numerous studies to show how playing different music genres in the background can influence shopping behaviour, including a German study – “Music Congruity Effects on Product Memory, Perception and Choice” – which found German music can make customers think of German food, while French music can make customers think of wine, the Eiffel Tower and other French Lifestyle images.

Associate Professor Nikki Richards from Monash University said, “Music can also help us to connect to others. When we listen with others, the enhanced social connectivity can be highly satisfying.”. The general rule is to match the music to the energy of the crowd – ‘with the sit or stand rule’ – if they are standing, chatting and moving around the music needs to be happy.

Research by North and Hargreaves (1998) has proven that easy listening elevator background music will decrease sales of your food and beverages. The study investigated the effect of music on perceived atmosphere and purchasing intentions in restaurants. Overall the study showed a strong relationship between the music and customer behaviour.

Before selecting music to play, restaurant owners should consider their target demographics, ages, income levels, and music preferences. Ideally, the music choices of your target audience will match that of your restaurant brand, or alternatively, you may need to think about how you’re reaching and selling to your customers.