There’s a lot of talk about Millennials these days. As the newest trending generation, restaurants are bending over backward to attract their loyalty and dollars. (Hint: put avocado on it.) But while those businesses are jumping through hoops trying to attract a demographic that is actually spending less, they are missing out on the generation that has the money to spend and the time to spend it.
That’s right. I’m talking about Generation X.
Widely known during the 90s for their general apathy, slacker-tendencies, and flannel-clad appearance, this generation, often classified as people born between 1965 and 1981, has decidedly grown up. And when it comes to restaurants, unless you’re hocking unicorn lattes, they’re your target audience. Free from climbing the corporate ladder and raising small children like many Millennials, but not yet in the fixed-income spending freeze of the Baby Boomers, many Gen Xers have both money and time to spare. And when you’re playing Mixhit Radio’s Classic Alternative channel, they’ll be coming in droves.
The Nostalgia Effect of Classic Alternative
Gen X and classic alternative music go together like peanut butter and chocolate. You can separate them, but why would you make such a poor life choice when they are clearly the perfect couple? Fed up with corporate greed, the mainstream, and the impeding demands of adulthood, this is the music that shaped an entire generation. Playing Mixhit Radio’s Classic Alternative speaks to that generation and reminds them of those carefree days when music took on the establishment and anything was possible. While lost in their nostalgic happy place, they’ll also be in your place, which, ultimately, works out well for your bottom line.
The (Profitable) Element of Surprise
Featuring the raw lyrics of reluctant grunge poster boy Kurt Cobain, the poetic musings of Michael Stipe, and the innovative musical style (not to mention awesome hats) of Devo, this was a generation inexorably attached to alternative music. And while newfangled technology can help Gen Xers hear their favorite songs at the push of a button, these are folks who prefer to be surprised. Reminiscent of the good old days when MTV actually played music or they were given a new mixtape, this demographic relishes the excitement that comes from unexpectedly hearing one of their favorite alternative hits. When you play Classic Alternative, the hits will keep coming and the Gen Xers, caught up in their memories, will linger. (See what we did there? Classic Alternative humor for the win!)
Familiarity Breeds Comfort
Nothing makes a person feel as comfortable as familiarity. And even if it’s their first time stepping foot into your establishment, playing the songs that take your customers back creates an instantaneous feeling of ease. Mixhit Radio’s Classic Alternative channel fosters that feeling with a lineup that checks off every musical box in the genre, from David Bowie and The Cure to INXS and Garbage. Whether they prefer the new wave sound of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” or the later, more grunge-oriented rendition by Frente!, there is something that reaches each alternative music lover’s sweet spot. And, ever the loyal generation, when you hit their sweet spot, your establishment quickly becomes one of theirs.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a restaurant looking to attract people with money to spend and the time to spend it, put down the Cronut. Those people in their late 30s through early 50s are your ideal crowd. And when word gets around that you play the music they so strongly associate with their youth, they’ll know you speak their language. With Mixhit Radio’s Classic Alternative channel, you’ll take your patrons back in time while advancing your business light years ahead. No avocado necessary.
There is probably nothing that celebrates fun better than Summer! It is the time of the year that we seek to escape the daily doldrums and head out on a vacation adventure with our family and friends. The very mention of Summer paints images of pool parties and cookouts. Summer is the time to let loose and enjoy life, but it can only be enjoyed properly with the best Summer music! This is why we created our Endless Summer playlist.
Celebrate Summer Fun With the Best Summer Music
Happy customers are buying customers, which is why you always want to make your customer happy. One of the best ways to make customers happy is by having fun. And nothing is better for having fun than Summer music!
Our music celebrates the season with the smooth sounds of Pop, Reggae, Rock, and Oldies. Your customers can’t help but be caught up in the season when they hear their Summer favorites from The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet, and many others.
With the crush modern life puts us in at times, it can be hard to remember that summer is the fun season. That’s okay, as the right Summer music can lift a customer’s spirits when they hear that old favorite. Sometimes they just need a reason to celebrate, and nothing does it better for Summer than the right music.
Capitalize on the Season
If you own a seasonal summer business, you know how important the Summer months are for you and your customers. You’ll want to make sure to keep your customers happy and leave enough of an impression to have them return again next year.
Returning customers are great for all types of businesses since they tend to spend 67% more than new customers. One of the best ways to have a returning customer is to make them feel welcome. For many music fans, nothing is more inviting than the right music being played at a place they like to shop or dine.
Many customers will fall into a relaxation mode as soon as they hear their favorite songs. Once a customer has been put at ease in your place of business, it opens the door for further interaction. The familiarity serves to build a layer of trust, making them more apt to become a paying customer.
Give Customers a Reason to Spend
We’ve said that Summertime is the fun time and many of your Summer customers are out celebrating that fact. They have worked hard all year, and now they are reaping the rewards of their efforts. Customers will want to keep the fun rolling as they get back to their regular lives. The right Summer music will nudge them to buy souvenirs and other items that capture the moment.
It could be that your customers are still preparing for that great escape. Nothing sells beachwear like fun, upbeat beach music. Remind customers that their summer celebration is just around the corner and they need to be getting ready. Cue The Beach Boys, it’s beachwear shopping time!
But not everybody can escape for a Summer adventure. In that case, you can create the escape for your guests. Imagine being able to enjoy a wonderful beach grill party at your local hang out while the fantastic Summer music makes everyone forget the fact that they couldn’t go to the beach this year. Who knows, beach night might become a regular thing.
No matter what you think about the vacation season, there is one thing for sure – it is hard to separate Summer from its music. It’s a celebration just waiting to happen. And nothing creates that perfect Summer ambiance better than our Endless Summer collection. Contact us today to see how we can help you attract customers and keep them happy through the power of legally licensed music.
Every restaurant is managed a little differently. Whether you are an independent venue or are part of a franchised chain, the restaurant manager, staff, local customers, and the building itself will determine the unique environment you can create. One aspect of your building that can significantly influence your management style is the restaurant zoning. Whether you have an indoor and outdoor spaces, a separate bar, or a selection of dining rooms to choose from, each zone can provide your customers a unique ambiance for their dining experience.
Restaurant zoning can allow your customers to choose which area they want to sit in based on the experience they’re looking for. Or, if your guests are seated by the hostess, you can perfect your technique in guessing which area each customer would prefer most. The best way to define these separate zones is with a combination of lights, music, and decor. Even the staff can become a part of your customized experience by behaving slightly differently as they serve in one zone or another. With the right ambiance and restaurant zoning, you can draw the clientele you want or influence the energy of a room by subtly changing the environmental mood.
What Moods Can You Set in Your Restaurant?
Soft and Moody
Any restaurant that offers seating and dinner service should consider a soft and moody ambiance for at least one of your zones. By dimming the lights and playing soft instrumentals, jazz, and gentle rock classics, you can enhance the evening mood for guests who like a quiet and intimate environment to dine in. You don’t have to be a formal restaurant to create a soft and moody space, and you may even attract more classic dinner guests and adorable couples who love the food and want to speak softly to each other over dinner.
Energetic and Festive
An energetic dining area is great for the lunch crowd and for cheerful any-time diners looking for somewhere friendly to grab a bite. Energetic pop, rock, or themed music is almost always best when combined with brighter diffused lighting and plenty of room to move around between tables. When you set up a festive environment for guests who like to laugh and play with their dining companions, don’t be surprised if a few people get up to dance or even sing along to their favorite classic hits. Energetic music is also great for the staff because it’s fun to move quickly along to the peppy up-beats.
Casual and Relaxed
Of course, many venues prefer to set a very chill environment for customers who want to relax and chat with their friends over their sandwiches and drinks. Whether you’re fast-casual, a coffee shop, or even a fine dining restaurant, a casual ambiance is great for any daylight hours and creates a warm and welcoming haven after the sun has set. Many people who choose to eat ‘out’ will go somewhere that feels relaxed and inviting, especially if they plan to linger over dessert with a special someone or a good friend. A casual environment is best created with soft lighting and even softer chairs. Emphasize warm drinks and little details that remind customers of home to help them relax and enjoy the mood.
In the Kitchen
Finally, never forget that the ambiance in your kitchen and service areas is just as important as what the diners experience! Whether you are slammed or doing prep during slow hours, you can absolutely make work both easier and more fun with a little thought to environment and mood. Classic rock and current radio hits are a great way to go for your kitchen soundtrack, especially if you have a no-commercials option available. Bright white lighting is always a must in food prep areas and by making it diffuse, you can reduce eyestrain. And, of course, always keep the floors covered in rubber-backed mats so when your kitchen staff boogie up to the pass to your rock classics there’s never any risk of slipping.
Setting the Mood With Restaurant Zoning Has Never Been Easier!
Building the right environment for your restaurant is all about ambiance. With nothing but lights and music, you can influence how softly your diners speak or how excited they get throwing straw wrappers at each other. You can subtly bring down the mood of a room that has gotten too rowdy by dimming the lights and slowing your music tempo or bring up a ‘dull’ room by pepping up the environment. You can even build a name for yourself by having particularly appealing zones for teens, dates, study breaks, or business meetings depending on your target clientele. For more restaurant mood tips and techniques, contact us today!
Classic Rock is a collection of the greatest rock hits from the 60s to the 80s. In this handpicked collection, you will find artists ranging from Aerosmith to Zeppelin and everything Classic Rock in between. Everything you love about this exceptional time in rock music can be found in this collection. But what can it do for your business? The answer is quite a lot!
Draw in Customers Through Familiarity
Imagine having the comforts of home while you are looking for an enjoyable place to eat. Perhaps it comes down to a choice between establishments – a lifelong music fan is going to be drawn to a place that is playing the music they love.
Many of the fans of Classic Rock have been fans for the majority of their life. Each of those golden songs is etched in their memories like chapters in their life. Because they have kept that classic music alive, fans will tend to identify with places that celebrate their music.
When they hear a favorite song playing in a modern establishment, it serves to instantly validate a lifetime of musical choices. This validation will create a sense of comfort in your music appreciating customers, putting them at ease in your place of business. Soon they will come to associate your establishment with their music, making it an easy favorite.
A lot of classic rock music fans tend to take their music seriously. Once they see that you appreciate the same music, it sets the stage for more trust. After all, you have already proven that you are a place of business with a discriminating taste, and the customers have a lifetime of music appreciation to back up that trust.
Put the Customer at Ease
Many fans have spent years listening to their classic rock. Some fans will instantly go into a relaxation mode when they hear their favorites, and your business can capitalize on this by letting it set the stage for further interaction.
Once the ice has been broken by the great music, it is easier to build up a rapport with a customer and get to know them. Music can often be a common point of interest, letting the business and its customer build a mutually beneficial relationship from there.
Many Classic Rock Fans Are Now the Financially Secure Demographic
The average lifelong Classic Rock fan has now matured to where they are financially secure with a disposable income. This makes this demographic especially attractive to many businesses. Once you can build up a clientele of discriminating classic rock fans, you may find that sales remain strong through many different market fluctuations.
Not Just for Older Fans
But today’s classic rock is finding a strong following with people of all ages. Many younger fans are discovering these bands for the first time, and they are loving what they are hearing. Today’s movies are embracing classic rock, making it a favorite genre for today.
There are very few songs that could have provided the impact that The Immigrant Song did in the recent Thor: Ragnarok movie. When it blasted into the movie theater, new fans everywhere were instantly created. And amazingly enough, many had never even heard of Led Zeppelin.
Invite these new fans into your establishment through the Classic Rock collection. Let everyone know that this is the place for the meeting of the minds, and everyone can appreciate the magic and power found in Classic Rock.
Get the Classic Rock Collection for Your Business!
We believe that creating the right ambiance is key to putting your customers at ease in your place of business. For classic rock fans, nothing does this better than our Classic Rock collection. Contact us today to see how we can help you attract customers and keep them happy through the power of legally licensed music.
Ever since recorded music became the primary way people were exposed to the art, musicians have had a love-hate relationship with recording companies. They love the idea of someone believing in them enough to fund their ability to make music for a living. Then they see how much they’re receiving compared to the record company. And, while there are exceptions (e.g. superstar acts where everyone’s getting rich), that love often turns sour. The record companies directly effect how much musicians make.
Where the Record Company Fits In
Why and how has the relationship between artist and recording company changed over the decades? It requires looking at larger firms that don’t need any particular artist. These are the labels that can treat the vast majority of artists as disposable if they’re not willing to play by the rules. And that means talking about how much artists make directly off their work.
The answer is: not much. Not in the past, and not in the present.
According to RIAA data, a band only receives about 13% of an album’s sales as royalties. From that, over one-quarter goes to the band’s support: personal manager, business manager, lawyer, and producer. This means that for every $1,000 in music sold, the band makes less than $100. If they received a $10,000 advance—which is not much for a four-person band—they’ll need to sell over $100,000 in music to pay it back. That equals around ten thousand albums. Even before the days of heavy streaming, artists needed a hit song to reach ten thousand albums quickly. And it almost certainly took longer than the advance would have lasted.
Thus, in the era stretching from vinyl through cassettes and CDs, artists frequently struggled to make ends meet, even when they were fairly popular. Solo artists fared a little better, with only one person receiving the royalties, but bands were in a tough spot. With the above percentages, the members of a four-person band would make $25 or less for every $1,000 in music sold. Popularity helped with touring income, but for anyone that hadn’t hit it huge, life could easily become a grind. Artists were almost universally at the mercy of recording companies for exposure. Thus, they had little choice but to take the best deal available or give up the dream.
How Online Sales Change the Game
Today, the ease of sharing music online gives some artists the ability to sidestep the recording industry’s abuses. Many have used YouTube to pull in some advertising money and build awareness of their art. Lindsey Stirling, for example, built a following for three years before appearing on America’s Got Talent. However, the goal for most artists is to outgrow a YouTube channel. And, winning broader audiences requires a presence on worldwide streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify.
Streaming has the benefit of making one’s music more widely available than at any time in history. However, no correlated effect of the artist getting paid through streaming exists. Pharrell’s “Happy” earned him Grammy nominations and numerous opportunities to put his music to work. However, despite the song being streamed over forty-three million times on Pandora, he made a grand total of $2,700 in royalties from the service. Performance rights payments most likely boosted this number to around $25,000. But that is still quite low for such a massive hit. Even Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier said it’s a “totally unacceptable situation.”
Money But Not Music
Musicians no longer make money through their art. In fact, a 2012 Rolling Stone article listed “Nine Ways Musicians Actually Make Money Today.” The ways include fashion lines, perfume, investing, and being a talk-show band. The first three have nothing to do with music. Thus, they require that an artist already be so recognized that they can sell non-music-related merchandise off their names. The last seems like great work if you can get it, but there are perhaps a half-dozen talk shows running at any given time. Some of the ideas are good—selling shirts and other band merch and licensing music to various outlets have been mainstays of musician income for decades. Yet, the number of ways even superstar artists can make money that outstrips their music revenue speaks to the difficulty of making a living through music alone.
In short, the recording and distribution industries control music income. Whether by offering paltry percentages of album sales or a barely-existent percentage on streaming, industries dominate musicians’ incomes. Successful exceptions exist; Immortal Technique, for example, remained fully independent for much of his career. He preferred to do shows, burn his own CDs, and sell them himself to maintain the full profit. It was a good idea for him—he could make the same money with one-tenth of the sales. But, even then, he benefited from growing up in Harlem and being both familiar with and immersed in New York City. It’s never been easy to be a professional musician. If the present day has changed anything, it’s simply the number of paths down which an artist can struggle, not the struggle itself.
Running a successful restaurant is tough even in the best of times! So when the competition is getting tight and the economy is getting tough, you need every edge you can to come out on top. Which is why, if you’ve been looking for some ways to endear yourself to your customers, you should keep the following small business tips in mind.
The Best Small Business Tips For the Restaurant Industry:
Tip #1: Be Prompt
Nothing is worse for a business than waiting customers. The longer someone is waiting, the more time they have to second-guess their decision in coming to you, and the more time they have to get annoyed. That’s why you need to be sure you deliver prompt service and ensure that there is a minimum amount of time between arrival and ordering and between ordering and delivery. If you can be reliably fast, then that is going to endear you to a lot of people who will become return customers, according to Chron.
Tip #2: Keep Your Lists Short And Simple
While you can have task lists from floor to ceiling, make sure that when it comes to your menu you have a short, sweet, and punchy collection of options. If you give your customers too many options, they’ll get lost in the sheer variety. That can be frustrating for them, as well as for you, since it will turn ordering into a huge slog. As WordStream points out, you will get much better results with clear, separate categories and an easy-to-peruse list beneath your headings.
Tip #3: Get Your Guests’ Points of View
If you’re going to make changes (or not make changes), then they should be driven by the needs and desires of the people who walk through your doors to buy your food. Your guests’ opinions and experiences are a vein of gold that you need to mine if you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them happy.
As such, take POS Sector‘s advice and take your customers’ views into account. Ask them what they like, what they don’t like, and keep their perspective front-and-center when it comes to how you run your restaurant.
Tip #4: Remember, You’re A Business, Too
Too often restaurants focus on the day-to-day tasks of cleaning, prepping, and serving, expecting to become successful by virtue of being a well-oiled machine. While that is certainly an important aspect of a successful restaurant, it takes more than that to become a successful business.
As BFS Capital reminds restaurant owners, it’s important to step back and look at things from a business perspective. So, while it’s important to make sure you have the scheduled openers and that your supplies are coming on-time, it’s equally important to track your numbers, examine your marketing, and to ask what changes would increase your popularity among your customer base. Operating a restaurant is necessary, but you also need to grow your business in order to succeed.
Tip #5: Know Your Market
It’s one thing to be a restaurant; it’s another thing to be a targeted restaurant. As Made Man points out, you need to know not just what you’re serving and how you’re serving it, but who you’re serving it to. You need to look at your location, and ask who is around your restaurant? You also need to ask if your targeted audience would have to come to you and if that travel time would be worth it for them.
For example, while you can be a successful, high-priced restaurant while surrounded by poor college students, you’d likely have more success if you offered low-cost deals that those in your immediate vicinity could actually afford.
Mixhits Radio is Here to Help Your Restaurant
At Mixhits Radio, we don’t just have small business tips – we have tons of head-bobbingly catchy, finger-snappingly groovy, foot-tappingly fun playlists, too! It’s no secret that music is an essential part of the dining experience, so contact us today to learn how to get the best music for your restaurant. When mixed with the small business tips from this article, we guarantee you’ll see your customer base start to grow!
Burn is a unique Mixhits playlist that offers a significant amount of content. It includes some of the top hard-hitting hits from yesterday and today in genres such as rock, pop, dance, and remix. When you are looking for music for your gym, fitness classes, or an outdoor boot camp, this is the channel you will want to tune into!
Give People Some Motivation!
No one wants to listen to everybody else’s grunts their entire workout! Instead, they want to hear music. It’s what provides them with the motivation to keep going. Often, people will count out the number of songs that they hear in order to determine how long they are going to work out. Failure to play music may mean people leave a lot earlier than intended – and this can lead to you losing out on business at the same time!
Not all music works for creating a sense of motivation. You want music with a good rhythm that is capable of getting people up and moving. This is why genres of pop and dance have been chosen for Burn. The music is absolutely designed for movement!
Scientists have also determined that listening to your favorite music will also help you to enjoy working out more. “Happy” by Pharell Williams can result in a 28% more enjoyable workout than a workout performed in silence! Just another great reason to use a Mixhits playlist like Burn!
Create a Rhythm With Burn!
When you want people to feel the burn, you have to consider the music that you play. Up-tempo music allows people to move faster. Many people will work out based upon the beat. The faster the beat, the faster someone will run, pedal, or complete repetitions of various fitness-based activities.
Consider the type of music that you want to hear when you work out. If you’re going to hit the gym, you want to be able to burn calories. This means that you need high-energy music. By choosing music with a fast rhythm, you get plenty of energy and you can burn those calories faster. The added bonus, as proved by research at Texas Tech University, is that upbeat tunes help to increase your tolerance for more intense exercise.
If you were to play basic radio, there would always be those songs that slow people down. You don’t want people swaying back and forth to the music – you want them pushing hard!
Enjoy a Variety of Songs and Genres!
It’s also important that you provide a playlist with variety. People don’t want to listen to the same songs over and over and over and over again! Although it may be tempting to play a particular song repeatedly because you get good results, you also aren’t going to do your clients any favors.
One of the top reasons why people leave gyms and various fitness classes is because of failure to change up the music. You don’t want this happening to you, which is why it’s all the more reason to focus on a playlist that is going to change periodically. With Burn, you can get the latest hits that are guaranteed to be brimming with energy. Everyone you train or have working out at your facility will love the music and love the results that they get with the music.
Burn is the Mixhits Playlist for Your Business!
Choosing music shouldn’t be difficult. You know what you like. You also know what you can move to. Now, it’s just a matter of bringing it all together. Finding the right business music station will make all the difference in the world.
In the end, you have to remember that you are responsible for giving people results. Although it’s all based on what people do, you need to provide the motivation and the high level of energy to help them get to where they want to be. Music is a big part of that – which means you need to think about the music service that you choose. Burn is capable of giving you and the people you work with the results.
Discover more about Burn and other playlists by contacting Mixhits Radio LLC today. It will be the best business decision that you make all year!
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!
Being a restaurateur is a dream shared by tens of thousands of people across the United States, but those numbers make the dream a difficult one to achieve. If you’re planning on starting a fast food business, your task becomes more difficult still. No matter where you are, the competition in food service requires more than hard work; it demands appropriate and intelligent strategies. Putting in one hundred hours per week at your restaurant will not outweigh the detrimental effect of poor decisions.
What, then, do you need to focus on to make it in this business? At Mixhits Radio we’ve witnessed a number of fast food businesses make it big from the ground up, and so we have some tips and tricks for starting a fast food business!
Pay Attention to the Broadening Market
First, pay attention to the widening ideas about what ‘fast food’ means. For decades, if someone wanted fast food, that meant they were going to McDonald’s or Burger King, perhaps Wendy’s or KFC. Today, with the popularity of sandwich shops that make your food to order within a few minutes, the abundance of sit-down restaurants with takeout entrances, and the proliferation of online ordering apps, the restaurant business has clearly adapted to the desire of customers to have a variety of high-quality options for meals they can pick up and take home to eat.
Your competitors are not only the old fast food standbys, even if they’re the ones your business is modeled on. Any mid-range restaurant that allows its customers to order ahead and pick their food up (which is to say, most of them) exists in a similar market space.
Think About How Much Space You Need
Second, when starting a fast-food business, you must think about what you truly need in terms of restaurant space. Expenses add up quickly in this business, and what seems reasonable with some savings and a small business loan can soon eat up money you would be better-served spending elsewhere.
Your original idea may not have included a true hole-in-the-wall shop, but if that’s the space you can afford while still serving customers in the way you intend, then it’s a space you can use. Likewise, simple furnishings combined with good food and service will keep customers coming back in a way that all the marble counters in the world could never achieve.
Make Your Establishment Stand Out With Ambiance
Finally, pay attention to the ambiance of your establishment. As stated above, if you’re starting out, you may not have your choice of prime locations, which in turn may require you to be creative with how you attract customers. If all you have is four clean walls, some basic tables and chairs, and all the simplest amenities available, then the main aspect of the ambiance you can control is the music.
Figure out who’s likely to come in, given the location. Are you near schools that will result in an unusual percentage of high school or college students? Is it an area filled with young adults finding their way? Professionals most commonly looking for a decent lunch or something to grab on their way home from the office? Put together an idea of your likely customer base, then choose a playlist around the most common demographic(s), while avoiding anything liable to drive away anyone else.
A large number of under-30 customers might warrant a fair amount of hip-hop and R&B. If they range closer to forty, work in more 90s alternative music with some newer rock and a sprinkling of other genres. Likewise, some cities and towns might be more amenable to country, others rock, and others still rap. (If you’re not sure what the best option is, or need assistance navigating laws and regulations regarding music licensing for commercial businesses, companies like MixhitsRadio specialize in helping restaurateurs with these issues.)
Once you have good music set up, you can build your restaurant’s theme around it. This doesn’t have to be complicated; some classic posters of artists that make their way through the sound system can be enough to give your establishment a true sense of identity. Other memorabilia can help cement the restaurant in people’s minds, but unless you have something suitable on hand, don’t worry about such things at first. Good food and good music will be enough to start.
Get Help Starting a Fast Food Business From Mixhits Radio
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The Emotional Power of Music
Music has a particular power to enhance life experiences. There’s a reason you love a driving beat as the soundtrack to your workout, or always play classic jazz in the background at a dinner party. Well-chosen music complements the context in which it’s played, stimulating the appropriate emotions for the moment. Those emotions can be strong and hard to shake, precisely because we involuntarily associate certain genres or styles of music with a setting and range of expectations. By way of example, consider this YouTube clip demonstrating how your understanding of a single movie scene changes completely depending upon its background score.
Music also influences actions that flow from the emotions it generates. You’d swear that workout mix actually makes you feel more energetic and that the jazz compilation really does mellow out your dinner guests. Which is why when a music choice doesn’t fit the context, the results can be unsettling at best, and ruinous at worst. If you swap your workout and dinner party soundtracks with each other, it’s likely neither will feel quite right. But, if instead, you drown out your guests by blaring death metal through dinner, people will get upset, they’ll leave, and you might even lose friends.
What Happens When You Don’t Choose The Right Business Music?
As a business owner, the music you choose for your business setting is no less influential or important. For one thing, the wrong music choice can be costly and embarrassing. In 2013, for example, McDonald’s made unwanted headlines in one of the United Kingdom’s biggest newspapers when it was forced to apologize publicly for playing explicit rap music at one of its restaurants. The incident was the result of an innocent error. One of the crew members at the store had connected his personal music device to the store’s music system after closing time the night before, and it was still connected the next morning when the store opened. But that explanation did not spare McDonald’s the bad press and distraction.
Less-than-innocent song selections can also wreak havoc. In 2016, the Chicago Cubs faced an ugly public relations mess when someone in their music department played star pitcher Aroldis Chapman off the field at the end of an inning to the sounds of “Smack My Bitch Up” by The Prodigy. The song was not just obviously inappropriate for the family-friendly confines of Wrigley Field, it was made all the more so by the fact that Chapman had served a thirty-day suspension earlier in the season for domestic violence allegations.
The cases of McDonald’s and the Cubs illustrate the lesson that it is critical to calibrate music choices to connect with the market segment your business serves. Of course, it seems self-evident that while explicit rap and electronic dance music have their place in popular culture, they’re not the right choice for establishments that position themselves as family-oriented operations. But, selecting music for your business is not just about preventing highly embarrassing errors and mischief!
Maximize the Potential of Business Music
To maximize the potential of business music, avoiding embarrassment is just the tip of the iceberg. Think back to the YouTube clip linked above. None of the musical selections plugged into the scene seem wholly inappropriate. But, each conveys a different message about the actions we’re watching. The original score communicated a sense of adventure and excitement, perfect for appealing to the PG-13 demographic at the core of the movie’s audience. Other scores, in contrast, could have appealed to an older audience, or an audience skewed to a certain gender or taste, and so on.
To get the most out of your music selections, as a business owner you must consider the nature of your core demographic, and then explore how your music choices speak to that segment. Does your business music attract and hold the customers you most want to reach? Does it set a mood conducive to driving sales or customer engagement? Does it inspire particular behavior or emotions? Only when your music choices are driven by and line up with these business-driven insights can you be sure that the songs or other content you have playing on the sound system is serving your business purposes.
Contact Mixhits Radio For Your Business Music Needs!
At Mixhits Radio, we specialize in helping business leaders select a curated playlist of music and other content to target their specific customer profiles. To learn more about how we can help you not just avoid the embarrassment of playing the wrong music, but also to use just the right music to fine-tune how your business connects with its market, contact us today.