What Music Works Best For Restaurants

Setting the right ambiance in your restaurant goes past simply providing excellent lighting and a superb interior design. Creating the perfect atmosphere also requires great attention to music detail.

Music in a restaurant serves more purpose than simply being background noise. Certain music elicits specific emotions in your restaurant customers, a significant part of providing customer satisfaction and experience.

Below, we have provided tips and tricks to help you choose the best music for your restaurant.

Music As A Business Tool

Music is a significant part of everyone’s life. Everywhere you turn, it seems like music is blasting from car speakers, playing through earphones, or oozing out of business buildings.

Music has a significant effect on humans. Music, through various neurological processes, can affect how a person thinks, what they feel, and how they behave. This is why music is one of the most significant tools you can implement into your business strategy.

Many business establishments have caught up to the usefulness of integrating music into their brand, and restaurant establishments are not left out either. Restaurants finally use music not as a blanket over customer chatter as they wine and dine but to create an emotional connection with customers.

Restaurants have discovered and continue to uncover various mediums to use music to create the ultimate consumer experience. They are pairing music with other aesthetic details to develop customer satisfaction.

In a restaurant, music not only acts as a barrier to filter out the conversation but can also control sales and increase revenue.

So, you have no idea how to use music as a business tool in your restaurant? Below, we have provided everything you need to know, from the importance of music in a restaurant setting to choosing the perfect songs for your restaurant.

Importance of Music in Restaurants

Music and food are a combination that has been around for a long time. The taste of great food paired with equally superb tunes is a feeling that cannot be described.

Several scientific researchers have provided evidence that sound can influence food taste. Great music will make food seem pleasurable and satisfying, evoking emotions that beat having music and food singly.

Today, pairing fine dining and great music is an experience restaurants are paying attention to more than ever before.

While music is acknowledged as one of the most basic details in a restaurant, what role does it play exactly?

If you think music is an unimportant part of running a restaurant, you should think again.

Restaurant music is highly underappreciated and underutilized. Good music in restaurants provides significant benefits that drive increased customer satisfaction and offer a first-rate experience.

Some benefits of playing music in restaurants include:

Make Your Dish Seem More Flavorful

Food perception and music might seem like an unlikely mixture, but in reality, the link between both is undeniable.

Music affects psychological responses like blood pressure, heart rate, and stress level. It also affects respiratory effects and creates a more hyped-up or mellow reaction, depending on the type of music.

Besides these neurological responses, music is also related to how food tastes. Interestingly, the music you play can dull or sharpen your food sensory experience.

Music and food provide a multi-sensory experience where I’ll-fitting music in your restaurant can cause the food to be perceived as less flavorful.

Many of these researches showed that low-pitch and mellow music makes dishes taste more savory while high-pitch tunes improve sweet flavors.

Great Ambiance

A splendid ambiance is part of the restaurant dining experience. Without an aura that fits your brand image and personality, you will be unable to optimize a positive customer experience to drive sales and create loyal customers.

The right type of music that fits your aesthetics perfectly well is a great way to communicate your brand image but also create a positive, long-lasting impression. Great music that integrates well with your image and decor is a great way to create the perfect atmosphere for excellent customer service.

Because there are different genres of music, not all types of music fit your brand image.

Make Waiting More Pleasant

Many people will agree that waiting in a restaurant is a most unpleasant experience. From being extremely hungry with no waiter insight to take your order to your food taking longer than the staff said it would.

It is a known fact that waiting is a terrible feature that can ruin the customer experience. The longer a client waits, the more distressed and frustrating they feel. This discomfort provides an uncomfortable experience.

Great music is a splendid way to counter this discomfort and make customers more relaxed as they wait. Great music makes the time seem faster, thereby shortening a client’s perception of their waiting time.

Influences Eating Rhythm

Also, more interestingly, music has been found in several cases to affect how fast or slow customers eat in restaurants.

Do you run a fast-food restaurant? This will require you to get clients out of your restaurant faster than an establishment that provides fine dining. Music is a great tool to get customers to eat more quickly or slower, depending on your services.

As a rule, the quicker the tempo, the faster people finish their food and leave. This helps to turn tables faster.

Influence Purchasing Decision

Because sensations are processed in the brain, multi-sensory experiences often include overlapping sensations that lead to several types of behavioral responses. One of these is the effect of music on the food choices a customer makes in a restaurant.

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science shows that customers often make poorer food choices in noisy environments while picking healthier food options in quieter settings.

This phenomenon mainly originated from the physiological and neurological effects of music and music volume. With loud, upbeat music, the blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels often increase.

This increase enhances the excitement level, promotes cravings for high-energy foods, and causes the customer to purchase unhealthy food options to satisfy these cravings.

Music with a slower rhythm, on the other hand, slows the heart rate, reduces stress levels to create a relaxing effect, and enhances mental acuity, causing the customer to make healthier food choices.

Playing the correct type of music can steer customers to make sure food purchase decisions. This provides a subtle yet effective control over what food sells out fast.

Paying Attention To The Music Essentials

A report by Food Newsfeed shows that playing the right music in restaurants can increase sales by 9 percent.

It is not enough to simply choose a random song. When selecting music for your restaurant, it is essential to pay attention to crucial factors like consumer preferences, volume, and tempo.

Consumer Preferences

People’s music choices vary widely. Some people prefer conventional and classical tunes, some prefer the blues and jazz, while others prefer to listen to rock and pop variations. Some people would choose a mixture of the genres listed, and some prefer unconventional choices like heavy metal.

The type of music people listen to is personal opinion, often based on factors like their background, demographics, and age.

Although judging a person’s preferred music genre by their age can be inaccurate to some extent, it is possible.

Younger restaurant patrons often prefer contemporary tunes like rock, pop, and hip hop, while older patrons prefer genres like soul, blues, jazz, and often classical music.

When choosing the music to play in your restaurant, it is essential to remember to place consumer preferences over your music choices. Choose songs that fit your restaurant setting and clientele experience instead of picking those you prefer.


Research has shown that playing upbeat and fast-tempo music excites people. It triggers neurological responses like a faster heart rate and increased blood pressure, releasing dopamine and making the listener excited.

Fast-tempo music causes people to eat faster. This increases table turnover as the seats empty more quickly.

While this is sometimes great and necessary for some settings, it sometimes causes restaurant patrons to feel stressed and uncomfortable.

Slower music causes patrons to relax and eat their food more slowly. It lowers their heart rate, causing them to enjoy the experience you provide.

The tempo and pace of the music you play should fit in with the atmosphere you provide.


While you might be tempted to turn the music volume to maximum, it is essential to understand that the primary reason patrons come to your restaurant is for the food.

A very high music volume distracts your customers from the delicacies in front of them and reduces how well they enjoy their meal. It takes their attention away from the food and reduces the satisfaction they should experience.

Restaurant music should be loud enough to cover background conversations, cutlery sounds, and unpleasant noises. However, it shouldn't be too loud so that it makes it difficult for customers to focus on their food or intrude on conversations between family and friends.

The music volume should be kept between low and medium, depending on the setting. You might also need to adjust the music volume at various intervals every day.

At peak times and rush hour, your restaurant will become loud. This requires loud music to drown out the chatter and act as a buffer to help dine-in patrons enjoy their meals.

During less busy parts of the day, the music should be kept low and relaxing.

Choosing The Right Music For Your Restaurant Setting

There are various types of music fit for different kinds of restaurants.

To ensure that your song choice blends well into your restaurant setting, it is vital to pick the proper type of music. Some settings and the recommended music choices include:

1. Fast Food Restaurants

A fast-food restaurant is also known as a quick-service restaurant. They offer minimal table service and a cuisine that is strictly quickly prepared and served, often as take-out.

Fast-food restaurants provide speed and convenience in exchange for cheap food and unhealthy food.

Although fast-food restaurants are already popular, they still require good music to attract customers. The type of music played here has to be energetic and fast-paced to get everyone moving fast.

If you run a fast-food restaurant, it would help if you opt for loud and fast ambient music. Genres like hip hop and classic rock are a great choice.

2. Fast-Casual Restaurants

A fast-casual restaurant is one step ahead of a fast-food restaurant. Its services are a mixture of fast food and casual restaurants.

A fast-casual restaurant does not provide table service but offers better quality than fast food. The foods consist of better quality ingredients and are slightly more expensive than foods obtained from fast-food restaurants.

Because fast-casual restaurants use fewer frozen foods and processed ingredients, they are often equated with sustainability. Their patrons are dedicated to making healthier food choices and will prefer better music than the ones you will find playing in a restaurant.

Genres like dance, electronic, and pop are a good call.

3. Ethnic Restaurants

Ethic restaurants cater to a very specific group of people. These specialty restaurants do not necessarily provide fine dining but are dedicated to serving ethnic delicacies inspired by a region or culture.

Ethnic restaurants include Mexican restaurants, Italian restaurants, Korean restaurants, and the like.

Because ethnic restaurants cater to a particular culture, it is best to play music known to that culture. If you run a Chinese restaurant, play original Chinese music. This will blend perfectly well into the atmosphere and provide a quality dining experience.

4. Fine Dining Restaurants

Fine dining restaurants are high-end restaurants. These establishments are full-service restaurants with specific dedicated meal courses.

Everything about fine dining restaurants is classy. From the decor to every ingredient in their dishes, fine dining restaurants only use high-quality materials and have specific dining rules which patrons are expected to follow.

Because fine dining restaurants are elegant and formal, the music should complement the setting. It is best to choose relaxing music to encourage patrons to stay and enjoy the complete dining experience, as restaurants like this serve appetizers, main events, and desserts paired with sophisticated drink choices.

Music choices for fine dining restaurants should include genres that communicate sophistication and class, such as jazz and classical music.

Choosing The Best Music For Your Restaurant

A restaurant setting is not complete without music that complements its image and atmosphere. The right music provides satisfaction and revenue boost and ensures a restaurant remains relevant.

To choose the right music that works for your restaurant, you must consider all the critical factors like clientele and brand image.

Although choosing one genre will help you play it safe, it is important to create a playlist of various genres as this will boost your restaurant’s appeal.

Most importantly, it is essential to ensure the music fits your patrons and will create maximum satisfaction.