Good restaurant playlists are quite rare and creating them is a skill that needs to be learnt, often the hard way, by trial and error. A good playlist needs to be curated like a good menu. Music likely isn’t the largest factor motivating where you choose to dine in our country, but restaurant owners put a lot of thought into what they play nowadays. It’s important because The Playlist, like the menu, needs to be site specific.

Some opt for a third party to supply playlists. The advantage is usually time saved and lower  fees but the disadvantage is that you get generic rather than custom playlists. What you hear at lunch won’t be what you hear at dinner. And what you hear after dinner will be something entirely different. If a restaurant’s goal is to increase late-night traffic, music is crucial to creating the atmosphere. There is a lot of overlap between restaurant lovers and music lovers .So, its not hard to imagine that if I open a restaurant I will have my favourite band. Pop music plays a big part in hip new restaurants.

Here are some things that can make the time we spend at a restaurant more enjoyable:

  Don’t let the staff add their own music. By all means take submissions for inclusion but I make it clear that I’m responsible for what goes on The Playlist and any decision is final. It always gets back to what’s appropriate for the room, which leads to the next point.

 Not all great music is appropriate to be played while you are eating.

People who like what is being played may be in minority but it’s there to make the few happy as the many are taken care of by the rest of the menu. Not everyone needs to like the music all the time.

Mix it up. People love to be reminded of music they’ve forgotten as well as being introduced to new music. Go all over the world.

 The Playlist should always grow and evolve. Regularly pulling tracks out and adding more is always good for regular guests. Over 1000 tracks and it ceases to be boring to staff.

Music helps restaurants choose diners. Very few eateries hire experts to build music playlists for different times of the day. Some restaurants prefer to pump up the volume, not to alienate certain groups of customers, but to stay true to their core guest. If college kids are a restaurant’s prime demographic, the establishment may deliberately play music older crowds deem uninviting.

 

Aniket Moon

SCIT MBA itbm (2013-15)

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