Setting Your Soundtrack
Using streaming music services can help set the mood and create your restaurant’s vibe.
Setting the right tone in your restaurant goes well beyond whether you serve good food. From the moment guests walk through the door, you create an impression and that includes the music playing throughout the space.
Setting up the right playlist takes some time and thought. You can’t just throw together a bunch of tracks you like and think that will create a hot vibe. Considering your clientele’s music tastes, location of your restaurant and the energy for different points in the day will make a well-rounded playlist that hopefully appeals to most.
“First, we consider where the property is located and then move onto properly researching what music has shaped the city spanning all genres, tempo and moods,” says Ken Ludeke, chief innovation officer at Aparium Hotel Group, which owns Lazia at the Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. “We provide morning, afternoon, dinner at late-night playlists on a monthly basis.”
Similarly, Sarah Gavigan, owner of Nashville’s Bar Otaku and Otaku Ramen, creates different playlists for different times of day. As a former music supervisor in the entertainment business, Gavigan understands how to create emotion through music and set a tone.
“You want to keep a vibe going, and you can have peaks and valleys,” Gavigan explains. “Some nights we may play low energy for the first three hours and kick it up. Songs have specific times and places where they work.”
Gavigan taps former colleague, Dan Wilcox, music supervisor and deejay for Los Angeles radio station KCRW 89.9 FM, to help compile her Spotify playlists. Together, they have three disparate playlists comprising 300 songs each that refresh once a month.
“It’s a lot”, she admits, “but it enhances the dining experience.”
Too much load for you to carry? Hire a music consultancy like Gray V to craft various playlists for you. That will also cover the costs of licensing fees, which need to get paid to performing rights organizations like ASCAP or BMI. Or, barter with a local deejay to thread together rotating playlists. However you do it, remember you’re making your own soundtrack.