For restaurant operators and owners, it can be hard to hear, and even harder to believe that strategic music choices will increase sales. And to be honest, I can understand why. It’s rare you come across evidence that demonstrates how essential on-brand music is to restaurant sales. 

At Altaura, it’s extremely important that we provide a quality service, using a strategic and innovative design process that helps our customers increase their sales, with a high ROI. And although we are partnered with sound scientists, who have proven the right music can increase sales in restaurants, we thought it only fair we carry out our own experiments, to back it all up.  Here's one of them.

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Strategic music vs random music

In this research project we set out to reinforce how much *strategic music could positively influence customer behaviour, compared to *random music.

*Random music is music that has no schedule. Using songs selected at random, that continue to play on shuffle. This is usually a Spotify or pre-made playlist. 

*Strategic music is music that has been designed and curated using the client's brand identity. Taking into consideration interior design, product design, graphic identity, tone of voice, time of day, day of week. Putting the customer at the centre of the design approach and building an empathetic experience around them to create a unique atmosphere that delivers results. 

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The research project

To conduct our research, we used our test site The Hunter’s Moon, a London-based restaurant and bar. Over the course of 2 months we measured the spend of customers. We captured data from the same amount of covers each month - levelling out at 950 covers worth of data collected per month. 

During the first month we played randomly selected music, the second month played strategic music. After the timeframe was up, we gathered all of the data and analysed our findings. We discovered that playing strategic music that reflected the brand values, makes a big difference to sales when compared to playing random music. 

In our experiment, customers had the same number of main meals, but there was a considerable difference with the sales of desserts: 

  • During the first month of random music 25% of customers purchase a dessert. 
  • During the second month of strategic music 37% of customers purchase a dessert. 
  • This demonstrates a 12% increase in dessert sales. 

Breaking down the ROI

We know that the average price of a dessert is £12. Which means around an extra 114 desserts were sold in the 2nd month, amounting to an extra £1368 in revenue. To then assess how much of a return you get from investing in your music strategy, we know that our Premium Music Service is £89 per month for this client. Desserts on average have a 65% profit margin, so we can calculate that profit from desserts for the month using strategic music was an extra £889, just minus our £89 fee, and just from your music you have a £800 return.

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Enabling your staff to do what they do best

What does our research mean for you?  We can conclude, that while your operations team focuses on tightening up supply chains, updating POS systems, managing staff shortages, and upping health and safety regulations - our strategic music could be driving your sales. While your marketing team focuses on social media promotions, new visual branding, and event sales - our strategic music could be driving your sales. A music strategy could increase your sales by 12% and beyond. All the while your staff could be working on what they do best. Let us sort the music strategy. 

For more music evidence, or to collaborate on a research project, connect with our team at hello@altaura.com