The Power of Music - The Proof is in the Pudding

September 11, 2022

For restaurant operators and owners, it's hard to believe that strategic music choices help increase your sales. And we totally get it, the music in your spaces can be far from the front of your mind - as long as its' working and you have no complaints, you may feel its' neither here nor there.

Also, even when there is evidence to show it, you still have way more on your plate. Even so, we have a great project to share, as it's not often you come across real evidence that shows on-brand or "brand-fit" music increases the influence for the guest experience, and in turn a brands' reputation.

At Altaura, it’s 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 research, to back it all up.  

Table of contents:

  1. Strategic vs Random music
  2. Research project
  3. Enable staff to do what they do best

Strategic music vs Random music

In this research project we set out to reinforce how much Strategic Music could positively influence customer behaviour and therefore potentially increase sales, compared to Random Music.

=> Random Music: 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: 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.

power of music

The research project

We used The Hunter’s Moon (photographed), a London-based restaurant and bar to test our theory. Over the course of 2 months our team measured the spend of customers at The Hunter's Moon pub. We collected data from the same number of covers to give an accurate sample.

During the first month we played randomly selected music, the second month, we played our strategic music. After the 2 months were up, we gathered all of the data and analysed our findings. We discovered that playing strategic music that reflected our 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.

Our premium service cost £89 per month, and the ROI from our service was 9x the investment in that month.

And if you're still unsure, because this is just one case & example, check out some more research here from Fast Casual and Motive Metrics.

Enabling your staff to do what they do best

What does our research mean for your business? Sometimes we forget that creating welcoming environments for guests is part of the role. But when it comes to music, you might not be armed with the best person to make big decisions on what to play and how to make the space feel warm, fresh, relaxing, energising etc. Whatever the requirements of the space, the music needs expert guidance.

- While your operations team focuses on tightening up supply chains, updating POS systems, managing staff shortages, and staying within health and safety regulations - a music strategy could be driving your sales, and you and your team can enjoy it.

- 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 of experts.

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