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

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 research, to back it all up.  

Here's a breakdown of the project we worked on to gather evidence, and explore our idea that a curated and on-brand music selection can increase your sales:

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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 (photographed), a London-based restaurant and bar. Over the course of 2 months we measured the spend of their 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 our 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. 

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Breaking down the ROI

We have a unique opportunity here to share the real stats and figures on this particular project, allowing us to be very transparent, so here it is:

The average price of a dessert was £12 at The Hunter's Moon, so by our calculation of the dessert sales total revenue we could determine there were an extra 114 desserts sold in the 2nd month of our research, amounting to an extra £1368 in revenue. To then assess how much of a return the restaurant got from investing in the music strategy with Altaura, 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, then take off our £89 fee, and from their music alone, we helped them see an extra £800 return.

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.

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Enabling your staff to do what they do best

What does our research mean for your business? Sometimes we forgot that that creating welcoming environments for guests is part of your 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 a certain way. And trust us, it is a big decision, that needs experts.

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, 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 at hello@altaura.com