How Music Affects Restaurant Foot Traffic

Looking for Success in the Restaurant Industry? Play Some Music

Foodservice is a high-stakes, competitive industry. Fast casual restaurants especially see fierce competition from rivals – and restaurant locations and franchises are opening every day. Success requires not only getting people in the door, but ensuring they return. Restaurants are therefore looking for ways to increase foot traffic and consumer base to gain the edge over their competitors and boost their bottom line.

One tool for success? Music.

That’s right. Music. While no one is saying your favorite restaurants should turn into entertainment venues (please, no) creating a multi-sensory experience through music can increase brand affinity, boost loyalty, and lead to repeat customers, which ultimately leads to revenue growth for the establishment.

How Restaurants Find Success Through Music

Nearly 80% of people notice the music being played in restaurants according to Broadcast Music Inc (BMI). Studies have also shown just how influential music can be on consumer spending habits, establishing brand identity, increasing customer retention, and boosting loyalty.

Here’s what music can do to help your restaurant find success:

Music Helps Establish Brand Identity

Music helps establish a restaurant’s brand identity and can be a key differentiator that sets your unique brand apart.

Playing music that fits the brand may increase sales by a as much as 9.1% as reported by Altaura, and in some cases even more. When restaurant owners and operators play music in their establishment it creates an immersive and pleasant experience for customers. Brand loyalists come to associate specific music or music types with the restaurant which leads to additional revenue and cash flow.

The good news is that it’s easier than ever to curate a specific playlist that caters to your restaurant’s aesthetic. A number of B2B music streaming services exist now with wide selections of music from which to curate playlists that are dynamic for customers (and won’t drive staff insane with repetition). Restaurant operators and managers can subscribe to licensed music and enjoy ready-made playlists, scheduling options, access to new styles of music, genres, and artists.

These streaming services also ensure the music being played is properly licensed for commercial settings – so there is no concern over copyright – and will even filter explicit lyrics as to avoid offense.

Music Increases Foot Traffic

Four Friends around a table laughing and having  a good time

Playing music significant effect on foot traffic, and the selection of music helps create a specific customer experience by creating a specific mood – Frank Sinatra is common in Italian restaurants, for example. 

The worst thing that can happen to a restaurant is to be ignored. Music draws the attention of customers traveling on foot. This not only entices them to enter, but helps the restaurant stick in their minds for future reference – if delivery is an option the chances of a customer ordering from your establishment only increase. Some restaurants even keep music playing after closing, a way to sell after staff have finished their shifts.

Music creates a memorable atmosphere that enhances the customer experience and gives customers a reason to return or share positive reviews.

Music Boosts Consumer Spending and Retention

Music inspires consumers to stay longer in a restaurant. 80% of consumers claimed they would stay longer in an establishment if they enjoy the music according to Bar & Restaurant News. Dining is an experience, and especially in a post-pandemic world plagued by inflation, people are looking for experiences worth their time and money. Music elevates that experience and influences customer retention.

Music also helps customers spend more. Another study conducted by BMI and National Research Group found that music affects the way consumers interact with restaurants – playing music the guests enjoyed resulted in an increase in spending habits, and higher revenue for businesses. It was reported that certain types of music even improved the taste of food.

Finding Success in the Restaurant Industry

There are several challenges facing restaurant owners and operators – cash flow, profitability, expense management, and the financial viability of their establishment. Around 30% of new restaurants fail in the first year, and 60% fail within the first three years, according to a study by Cornell University.

Music can help your restaurant not only survive but thrive in a competitive world. Professional made-for-business streaming services streamline licensing and help create a unique and memorable customer experience through playlists and music curation.

This inspires brand recognition and loyalty, and boosts customer spending to ensure your restaurant rises above the rest.

And, thankfully, there are other tools to help your restaurant as well.

See how NCCO can help your restaurant find success