Music affects us in many ways. It improves our moods, relieves stress, anxiety, and depression, and even reduces the amount of calories we eat!

Background music is essential in any restaurant. Music masks the annoying sound of culinary scraping over plates and the rattling of pots and pans in the kitchen. Additionally, music significantly impacts the customer’s choice in whether or not to enter a restaurant. The music you play in your restaurant could significantly impact your customers’ orders, eating behavior, and satisfaction.

Some of the biggest fast-food chains, including Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s, use music to improve their customers’ experience as well as influence their food consumption. There’s no doubt about it – music and fast-food go hand in hand! If you’re hoping to run a successful fast-food business, it’s essential you know the ins and outs of background music in restaurants.

How Does Music Influence the Fast-Food Experience?

Have you ever sat in a fast-food restaurant and noticed what music is playing? You might have thought that it was just playing for the customers’ enjoyment, but that’s not the whole truth. Whether the music was fast or slow, it was chosen specifically to influence your behavior.

Background Music Affects Eating Speed

So, how exactly does the music impact the fast-food experience? Two researchers, Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert Van Ittersum, wondered just that. They performed a study to understand just how the atmosphere – specifically lighting and music – affected how much customers consumed.

A part of Hardee’s fast-food restaurant in Champaign, Illinois was redesigned to resemble a fine diner. The lights were soft, and smooth jazz music was played. Those who ate with the slow jazz music playing in the background ate less and enjoyed their food more. Slow music is relaxing.  It will make customers eat slowly, and thus, eat less.

Fast-paced music, on the other hand, speeds patrons up. They eat faster and drink more. In fact, a Fairfield University study done in the mid-1980s showed that when fast, loud music is playing, your chewing rate increases by almost a third. Genres such as pop, rock, heavy metal, and rap are all fast-paced, whereas slow genres include jazz, reggae, country, and R&B.

Other Effects of Background Music in Restaurants

Background music also affects table turnover. When listening to slow music, patrons linger longer, occupying the table for more time. In contrast, when listening to fast music, patrons eat faster and leave quicker.

Not only does the pace of the music affect the time your customers spend eating, it also affects the time it takes for employees to prepare the meal. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, fast-tempo background music lead to faster serving (27 minutes) compared to slow-tempo background music (29 minutes).

Music can even change the customers’ perception of time. As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” Some songs, specifically jazz and classical music, can help the customer lose track of time. Familiar songs, on the other hand, can make the customer aware of how much time has passed.

 What Music Should You Play in Your Restaurant?

Many brands have audio identities. The music you to use in your restaurant should reflect your brand and brand attributes. Think of what your brand identity is and what mood you want your patrons to feel.  Do you want an upbeat and fun feel in your restaurant? Or a calming and relaxing mood? Music and fast-food can help you establish an identity that consumers won’t soon forget!

Which Restaurants Are Using Music to Their Advantage?

Many of the big fast-food restaurant chains know the power music has on customer behavior, and they yield that power wisely.

For example, Dunkin’ Donuts uses Mixhits Radio to play upbeat, energetic music in their stores. And they aren’t the only ones! Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Ninety-Nine restaurants, and many more have realized that music and fast-food pair together perfectly, and thus decided to use Mixhits Radio to yield the power of music in their restaurants and boost their customers’ fast-food restaurant experience.

Contact Mixhits Radio With Your Music Needs

Music and fast-food work together greatly to affect how we eat. The music in your restaurant (or the lack of it) has a significant impact on your customers’ experience in your restaurant. Want to play the best music in your restaurant? Check out Mixhits Radio!