Monday, February 6

Music in restaurants: eye, it influences what we eat


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It influences what we eat and how, but watch out for songs that are too popular…

Martina is meeting some friends for dinner. It is the trendy restaurant: tasty food, trendy decoration… ‘Pillar’ table is more difficult than hitting the Euromillion, but finally they have been given space. They enter the premises, accommodate them at the table and open the letter with the QR code. As she reviews the letter, Martina realizes that she is uncomfortable. It’s not the company, not the chair, not the clothes… she Suddenly realizes that the music bothers her. In the background, ‘Umbrella’ plays, Rihanna’s super hit from 2007. And she reminds him of the summer she broke up with her boyfriend at the time. She gives him the slump and, in part, ruins his dinner a bit. Can a single song influence that much?

«I don’t like to choose well-known music to set the scene for a place precisely because of this. A theme can take you to a specific moment in your life and it does not have to be good. Like that of a breakup”, explains Celestino Martínez, director of the Updating Retail consultancy, which advises entrepreneurs when it comes to setting up their businesses in the best conditions.

For a few years, when opening a shop, a restaurant or a bar, it is not only necessary to pay attention to the genre that is going to be sold. Increasingly, aspects such as the decoration of the premises, the lighting, the uniforms of its employees, the smells and, of course, the music, are taken into account. An appropriate combination can be the key to success: “All of this has a direct influence on customer behavior,” says Martínez. But you have to know how to integrate it to create the environment and the image you want to project. The latter is what is called creating ‘branding’, that which differentiates us from the competition. In the case of restaurants, can you imagine a Japanese with traditional Basque music? By power, you can, but it doesn’t hit.

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– Should we always have a background thread?

– It is not mandatory, but we must understand that we can modify people’s behavior with it and that can help us.

Who says it is the expert in neuromarketing José Ruiz Pardo, one of the pioneers of this field in Spain. And he gives an example: “If we play faster music, we accelerate the heart rate of those who listen to it, and in the case of diners, we invite them to get up from the table as soon as possible.” This is very useful, for example, in places that serve daily menus, where it is important to have as many openings as possible in just two hours, or in fast food chains, says the expert.

Filter for the client

Volume is another aspect to consider. Some studies, such as one from the University of Arkansas led by Professor Han Seok Seo, indicate that music between 50 and 65 decibels invites you to eat healthier, but from 70 onwards it leads to eating more ultra-processed foods and sweets. Beyond that, you have to find the right one, the one that doesn’t bother: “Let it be known that the music is there, but that it isn’t,” says Ruiz Pardo.

“If you can’t stand ‘Bershka-type’ music, you’re not their target audience”

“Music should serve to create intimacy, to dilute the conversations around us but, at the same time, it should allow us to talk with our interlocutor,” warns Martínez. And it is also a filter for our clientele. “The best example is in the Bershka fashion store,” Ruiz Pardo points out a bit jokingly. This music – modern and high volume – is appropriate for the age range of the target customer (very young people). If the rest of us don’t like it, it’s because it’s not our store. And something similar can be applied in a hotel establishment », he says.

Now, how do I know what music to put in my place, how to get the selection right? We have to go to experts and be clear about what we want to convey. With that, professionals create ‘ad hoc’ music lists. This is what they have been doing, for example, at TMM Group for two decades, says its manager Gemma Cusco. The important thing is “working together” and “letting ourselves be advised”, without committing yourself and leaving aside personal tastes, which is not about that, but that the people who come to our premises feel at ease. “Only in this way can a personalized musical experience be built, but, at the same time, successful”, comments the specialist.

Watch where the speakers are

Finding the right music for a business is really important and “very affordable,” experts say. But this must be accompanied by a greater and prior investment. “The expensive thing, many times, is to condition the premises,” says Ruiz Pardo. He refers to sounding the space and using suitable sound equipment. “It must be of quality and have the necessary speakers, not one more, not one less,” adds Martínez. You also have to place them in strategic places. “Be careful with putting them on the tables, for example.”


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