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Music for restaurants: How it influences your service

When we think of music for restaurants, instrumental music or jazz is usually the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, if you do a quick search on Google, you will see in the first results playlists and videos of relaxing songs. But we must consider that, just as your restaurant has a personality and characteristics that differentiate it, it must also have a unique soundtrack.

Choosing background music for restaurants is a topic that we don’t normally touch on in the hospitality industry. However, it is an element capable of transforming the entire experience of your customers and guaranteeing total immersion in your concept.

This is a very important factor in building the identity of your restaurant, as it helps create a unique atmosphere. In addition, it is one of the points to take into account when developing a sensory experience for your place.

When choosing the songs that will sound in your restaurant, you must consider that it is impossible to please all your customers. However, music is a universal language that is part of our identity. The key to reaching your musical identity is finding the sounds that best suit your proposal.

Below we list the main points to take into account when choosing the type of music for your restaurant.

Music for restaurants: a sensory stimulus

Music has hundreds of benefits for individuals. In addition to influencing our behavior as a society, it has unprecedented effects on our brains. This is able to help us control our stress levels and increase our creativity.

Choosing music for a restaurant is very important because it stimulates one of our five senses: hearing. If we go further, we come across the notion of sensory marketing. This technique uses the five senses of an individual not only to improve their shopping experience. But also to stimulate him to consume, stay longer in the place, and return.

Today, to retain a client it is necessary to offer an exclusive experience and the musical choice is a crucial factor for this. According to a study by Mood Media, music is the number one stimulus to improve the customer experience. Furthermore, 90% of those surveyed affirm that they return to a place if the music, visual stimuli, and the smell give them a pleasant sensation.

The emotional connection between songs and food

The smell, taste, and sound are capable of stimulating our effective memory. Like a special song or a recipe that reminds us of good times. But beyond that, the senses mix to create unique experiences.

Certain songs tend to awaken important memories and even connect with the affective memory that we have when eating a specific dish. For example, you (as well as thousands of others) may associate a family recipe with the songs your grandmother listened to while cooking.

Sensory experiences greatly influence gastronomy and the diner’s experience. For this reason, the British Charles Spence created a book entirely dedicated to it. He defines his work, Gastrophysics. The new science of food, as “a scientific approach to the psychology of eating, shifting the focus from the preparation of food to the way it is perceived by the person who eats it.”

According to Spence, who leads the Crossmodal Research laboratory at the University of Oxford, “it has been shown that high-note piano works can change the perception of taste.” And this is just one of the ways that music can influence gastronomy.

Music to motivate your clients and team

Although its benefits are multiple, having music on your premises during the service is not an obligation. But this does not mean that you should not bet on other stimuli to attract and retain your potential audience. In addition, its benefits do not only concern your customers.

The music in your restaurant is not just limited to the diner’s experience. This can also be a great way to motivate your team. Between each service, you can select inspirational playlists. And thus, create the ideal atmosphere to incentivize your employees when they start their day.

Some rules to keep in mind

If you want to have background music in your establishment, be it a restaurant, a cafeteria or a bar, you should consider some rules.

Did you know that you must have authorization for the reproduction of music for commercial purposes? Yes, it is necessary to pay for the rights of the songs that sound on your premises. But don’t worry, we leave you here two very practical and economical solutions.


The Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) is a Spanish organization that controls the rights to songs. To obtain them in a totally legal way, it is not necessary to pay for each song. You can obtain a license that includes the use of their musical and audiovisual repertoire. However, the values ​​vary according to the size of each premise. If you have a 50m2 restaurant you will pay € 17.84 per month. On the other hand, if your establishment has more than 100m2, this value goes up to € 153.14 per month.

Soundtrack your brand

This initiative has been created in collaboration with Spotify, especially to play music in a commercial establishment through the streaming platform. Its value is € 26.99 per month, regardless of the size of the business. Beyond offering music licenses for restaurants and other establishments, Soundtrack your brand also suggests the best playlists for your type of venue.

Finally, if you want to have live music in your bar or restaurant, you should know that it is necessary to obtain a special permit. This will depend on the size of your establishment and the council of your municipality.

Choosing the perfect music for your restaurant

As we have mentioned before, each restaurant has a personality. Therefore, when creating or adapting a playlist for your venue, it is necessary to consider some points:

Your type of restaurant

The first step is to think about the DNA of your store. Do you have a specific theme? Is your restaurant more modern or traditional? Do you offer any type of typical food? For example, if we go to an Italian or Japanese restaurant, the most logical thing is to get there and listen to music from these countries. Or at least it has a similar mood or inspiration to the local decoration.

Your client

The style and age of your potential audience are another very important factor to consider when choosing music for your restaurant. It is important to know what songs your customers expect to find in a place like yours. To do this, we suggest that you do a competition study and benchmarking to discover the ideal soundtrack.

The hour of the day

Although we do not always take it into account, the time of day is a crucial factor in choosing songs or playlists. For example, choosing an electronic music playlist for a restaurant brunch is very risky. Once your clients have just woken up, it’s better to go for calmer rhythms, like jazz, blues, or bossa nova.

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