Thursday, April 18, 2024

Music sets the scene, and there’s nowhere in the business world where that’s more important than in a restaurant. The right soundtrack can help people really feel enveloped by the atmosphere you have set. It can encourage them to stay for longer, get another glass of wine, stick around for dessert, and leave with a glowing impression. Music has the power to improve your mood, so use it strategically to improve the atmosphere in your restaurant today, starting with this guide:

First Things First, The Law

Before you get too excited and throw on your own music playlist, stop. You will need to have the right music license to play music from artists. Unless you’re a musician on the side and have a long enough set list that you can play your own stuff throughout the day without it repeating, then you’re going to want to understand the restaurant music licensing fees. These are important to know, but the good news is that they’re easy enough to adhere to and gain access to a massive library of music all at once. The answer is to get a business subscription for public playing from a streaming service. That’s it. Once you have that, you can then play any of the playlists or songs in that list. Choosing the right playlist, however, can be tricky.

The Genre

Once you have access to licensed music, it’s now time to think about the genre. Keep in mind the genre or at least the tempo can change depending on whether you’re doing breakfast, lunch, or dinner service. Lunch is usually lighter and more upbeat, for example, because people are usually at your restaurant either on their lunch break or because they were out sightseeing or running errands. In short, there’s more to do after lunch, so lighter, happier music can keep them energized for the rest of the day.

Dinner, on the other hand, can be more intimate and slower. The goal is to establish an intimate atmosphere that’s as appropriate for date night as it is for a birthday dinner.

The Theme

Most restaurants cater to a specific type of food, and you could use that as a springboard in terms of music selection. French restaurants could use French music, for example. While a fun option, it’s not a hard and fast rule. You’ll rather want to match the music theme with your décor. If you have an art deco-inspired space, for example, jazz helps sell the theme. If you’ve gone for a Scandinavian theme, then something more calming and cooler can be a better choice.


Volume is key, and finding the right level will make a huge impact on your guests. To find the right volume know that the acoustics and also how many guests are in will both impact how loud your music should be. If no one is in, then you’ll want to put the music lower than if it’s packed.

Another great tip is to rely on smaller speakers rather than a few large ones. If there are a few small speakers throughout your restaurant, you can keep the music low and at an ambient level. If you only have a few speakers, the volume would need to be louder to be enjoyed by the whole restaurant – which could mean it’s too loud for those right next to the speaker. Smaller speakers, adjusting volume based on busyness, and knowing how sound bounces in your restaurant will help you adjust the volume to perfect levels.


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