Creating the Ultimate Playlist for Different Types of Restaurants

Music plays an important role in creating the right atmosphere for your restaurant. Whether it’s upbeat hits for breakfast, smooth jazz for dinner, or anything in between, the music you choose can attract customers or turn them away.

Creating a playlist can be daunting. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure your playlist flows seamlessly from start to finish.

Rock

The music you play at your restaurant can significantly impact guests’ perceptions of your brand. It can even influence their purchasing decisions and dining choices. The best music for restaurants you choose should align with the intended ambiance of your restaurant. You can also alter your restaurant’s music playlist based on the time of day to match the energy level of your crowds.

For example, a trendy millennial date spot would want a popular playlist with songs with a medium BPM (beats per minute), tempo, loudness, and danceability. Similarly, an elegant dinner spot for GenX and silver generations would need music with high valence (musical positiveness), low lyrics, and smooth rhythms.

However, you should be open to choosing music genres for your restaurant. It’s important to have enough variety to avoid repetition. After all, if your diners hear the same song multiple times, it can bore them and affect their mood. It can also negatively affect your staff’s morale, leading to lower employee performance.

Pop

In a restaurant, the music is as important to the atmosphere as the food. The right music will enhance the customer experience and create an emotional connection to your brand.

While the music you play should be consistent with your restaurant’s overall vibe, it’s also important to have enough variety to keep the playlist fresh. It’s also worth noting that the tempo and volume of your music should change depending on the time of day. For example, a fast-food restaurant may need to play quicker music to turn tables at lunch. In comparison, a fine-dining restaurant will benefit from slower music at dinner to encourage diners to stay longer and potentially order dessert or drinks.

Pop music is catchy, instantly likable, and easy on the ears. While artists in this genre typically write songs that follow the traditional verse-chorus format, they can often incorporate elements from other music genres to create their unique pop style. 

Hip-Hop

Hip-hop music is a fusion of many different cultural influences that created a distinct culture. It was born during the “urban renewal” era for American cities and the resegregation of urban communities; terms like ghetto and underclass were reinventing America’s racial vocabulary.

Rappers tell complex stories in rhythm and rhyme. Their personas are cooler-than-life characters that might be super-smooth or gangland tough. The artists are often proud of their skills and talents. They often pay homage to the DJ, who plays the song’s backing music.

Female rappers are also making an impact. Female artists are assertive and empowering in their lyrics. They are often challenging the sexism in traditional rap music.

The hip-hop culture also inspires other art forms. The graffiti artists of the era created wild, color-outside-the-lines improvisational styles. They worked alongside the rappers to create an artistic expression that matched the energy of the dance-party scene. The movement has also created a new musical genre called trap and mumble rap.

Jazz

When serving a more sophisticated crowd, you want your restaurant music to reflect that. A subtle mix of smooth jazz, moody soul, and timeless pop will do the trick.

Jazz is special because it’s created spontaneously by musicians responding to the music and one another. The spontaneity of the genre gives it an emotional quality that is frequently difficult to duplicate in other musical genres.

In the 1940s and ’50s, jazz artists developed a jazz subgenre called bebop that involved lightning-fast playing and improvisation over chord changes. This innovation ushered in jazz fusion, in which jazz musicians blended their music with rock and other genres such as disco and funk.

Country

Music plays an important role in a restaurant. It creates the atmosphere and influences customer perception of your brand. It is why selecting the right songs for your playlists is so important. Consider the music genre you’re playing at different times of the day. For example, if your restaurant is a casual diner or an in-and-out coffee shop, upbeat, energetic music should be played during lunchtime. Meanwhile, mellow acoustic songs are appropriate for dinnertime.

Having the right music playlist for your restaurant can help boost sales and improve the customer experience. According to studies by the Spotify-backed playlist tool Soundtrack Your Business, restaurants that play the music that aligns with their brand concepts increase food sales by 15.6 percent. Creating the perfect playlist doesn’t have to be difficult, however. You can start by selecting songs that reflect your brand’s vibe and then regularly update the playlist with new tracks that fit the same vibe. It will keep your guests engaged and happy throughout their visit.

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