Music & Dining – How music affects your dining experience

It is a common sight to see (and hear ~!) restaurants, bars, and other dining spaces play various types of music to complement and complete the experience for their diners.  Besides avoiding the awkward unfamiliarity of eating in silence, music does much more, and is said to influence not just the atmosphere, but also the amount of food and beverage consumed !

Music is a key element when it comes to setting the mood, and it is no wonder that restaurants play it to their advantage ~  The genre of music helps to bring out the image associated with the brand, and create a relaxing environment for patrons to enjoy their food.  Classical and light jazz music are popular choices in restaurants, to allow patrons to feel soothed and at peace.

Apart from the genre, the volume of music is significant as well – when the music is too loud, diners will not be as able to hear one another, and this brings a negative impact on the overall dining experience.  Loud background sounds may also impair our sense of taste, affecting the tasting experience of food and beverages for the patrons.  However, when the music is too soft, it may also be unconducive since music is intended to play the important role of creating a personal, private space around diners, allowing them to chat and relax without having to feel the intrusive presence of other diners and waiting staff. 

Background music has been found to powerfully affect people’s pace of eating and drinking too – the quicker the tempo, the faster people finish their orders and leave.  The Association for Consumer Research found that slow music has the effect of causing diners to linger longer, thereby inspiring more purchases, and increasing the overall bill by up to 50 percent !

Finally, for dining frequently accompanied by waiting time, music steps in again to make the wait less stressful.  Soft tunes in the background are found to relieve anxiety and stress, and even make time seem like it is passing by more quickly. 

While music, especially slow and calming tunes, play a significant role in restaurants, there are many who prefer exciting live music in bars and pubs instead.  Many outdoor cafes and bars offer dining experiences with live music performed by bands, so that diners can enjoy their meal in a lively and uplifting atmosphere.  Live music also helps to attract the attention of passers-by, and promotes socialization and mingling amongst patrons.  As compared to more high-end and refined dining in restaurants, such dining experiences with live music may help customers unwind more, as they immerse themselves in the music and can even freely sing along.

Depending on individual preferences, different dining experiences may be sought after.  However, it is definite that music plays a huge role in dining, and in our daily lives ~  

We would love to find out which form of dining you prefer – calm and soothing dining in a restaurant, or chill dining at a bar with some upbeat live music ?  Let us know your preference through our Instagram poll ~!