Advertising
Advertising

5 Ways Restaurants Use Music to Influence You

5 Ways Restaurants Use Music to Influence You

For restaurants, music is an essential part of putting together a complete experience. Together with décor and lighting, background music plays an important role in influencing how much you spend and how you behave in restaurants.

The psychological influence music has over us as humans, is the very reason restaurants pay for a music license to play the right songs in their establishment. Here are some ways restaurants use music to influence you and how much you spend on your meal.

1. They play fast paced music

Many restaurants want you to come in and make a decision quickly without thinking too much about the price. Additionally, restaurants want you in and out quickly because it helps them get new customers seated faster without the need for more tables.

Advertising

Fast paced music helps them accomplish this because the tempo increases your heart rate and breathing rate, which causes you to do other things faster as well – meaning you’ll finish that meal and be out the door sooner rather than later.

 2. They turn it up

One of the most common complaints people have about restaurants is that the music is too loud. You go out to eat not only for the food but because it’s a social experience. You want to experience the atmosphere of a place other than your home with your friends or family.

Unfortunately, many restaurants don’t take this into consideration when it comes to the music. They turn up the volume for the same reason they play fast-paced music – because it gets customers moving faster.

Advertising

Many customers will leave and never come back if the volume is too loud. Smarter restaurants have come to understand this and adjust the volume to more comfortable levels to allow their customers to socialize and enjoy their meal.

3. They play classical music to increase alcohol sales

If a restaurant is on the more expensive end, classical music can influence your decisions when it comes to how much you’re willing to spend.

It turns out that classical music when combined with a classy atmosphere, can actually cause you to perceive high prices as less expensive. Because of this, restaurants that have a range of alcohol selections tend to play classical music so that you’re more likely to opt for a more expensive bottle of wine.

Advertising

4. They play “happy” music

Restaurants are smart enough to realize that customers are likely to spend more money when they’re in a good mood. Music is an extremely powerful way to influence emotions.

Sad songs can make us tear up, and happy songs make us want to dance. Because of this, restaurants typically avoid minor key songs that reinforce a sad or dismal mood and opt for major key songs that are likely to have a positive influence on your mood.

5. Smart restaurants use music to compliment the atmosphere

The most important part of music when it comes to restaurants is that it reinforces the other elements of a restaurant to form an immersive experience.

Advertising

Companies like Starbucks and Chipotle understand this. They have internal teams or individuals working daily to select the best songs to compliment the atmosphere they’re trying to provide to their customers. If customers have an awesome first experience, they’re likely to come back and spend more money in the business.

Conclusion:

While the music has the potential to point you in a certain direction, it can’t control you. You’re still making the decisions for yourself. The restaurants are simply doing their best to point you toward the behaviors and purchasing decisions that benefit them the most, which isn’t a bad thing if you’re ultimately happy with the decisions you’ve made and you enjoyed the restaurant itself.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

More by this author

Nicholas Rubright

Entrepreneur

How to Start a Band – An Administrative Checklist for Musicians 3 Things You Should Do When You Release An Album 5 Things You Should Do Every Day to Promote Your Music 5 Ways Restaurants Use Music to Influence You 5 Untapped Ways Musicians Can Promote Their Music

Trending in Brain

1 How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership 2 How to Avoid Binary Thinking and Think More Clearly 3 7 Ways to Improve Focus And Memory (Backed By Science) 4 Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts 5 What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on July 29, 2020

How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

Have you been thinking of how you can be a more strategic leader during these uncertain times? Has the pandemic thrown a wrench at all your carefully laid out plans and initiatives?

You’re not alone. The truth is, we all want some stability in our careers and teams during this disruptive pandemic.

However, this now requires a bit more effort than before and making the leap from merely surviving to thriving means buckling down to some serious strategic thinking and maintaining a determined mindset.

Is There a Way to Thrive Despite These Disruptions?

Essentially – yes, although you need to be willing to put in the work. Every leader wants to develop strategic thinking skills so that they can enhance overall team performance and boost their company’s success, but what exactly does it mean to be strategic in the context of the times we live in?

If you happen to be in a leadership position in your organization right now, you are most probably navigating precarious waters given the disruptions caused by the pandemic. There’s a lot more pressure than before because your actions and decisions will have a much greater impact these days not just on you, but also to the people who are part of your team.

Companies often bring me in to coach executives on strategic thinking and planning. And while pre-pandemic I would usually start by highlighting the advantages of strategic thinking, nowadays, I always begin these Zoom coaching sessions by driving home the point that this pandemic has now made strategic thinking not just an option but an absolute must.

Advertising

Assessing and making plans through the lens of a good strategy might require significant work at first. Nevertheless, you can take comfort in the fact that the rewards will far outweigh the effort, as you’ll soon see after following the 8 strategic steps I have outlined below.

8 Steps to Strategic Thinking

As events unfold during these strange times, you’re bound to feel wrong-footed every now and then. Being a leader during this pandemic means preparing for more change not just for you, but for your whole team as well.

As states and cities go through a cycle of lockdowns and reopening, employees will experience the full gamut of human emotions in dizzying speed, and you will often be called on to provide insight and stability to your team and workplace.

Strategic thinking is all about anticipation and preparation. Rather than expending your energy merely helping your company put out fires and survive, you can put the time to better use by charting out a solid plan that can protect and help you and your company thrive.

Take the following steps to build solid initiatives and roll out successful projects:

Step 1: Step Back, Then Set the Scope

One of the things that leaders get wrong during their first attempt at strategic thinking is expecting that it is just another item on a checklist. The truth is, you need to take a good, long look at the bigger picture before anything else. This means decisively prioritizing and stepping away from tasks that can be delegated to others. Free up your schedule so you can focus on this crucial task at hand.

Advertising

Then, proceed with setting the scope and the strategic goals of the project or initiative you plan to build or execute. Ask yourself the bigger question of why you need to embark on a particular project and when would be the right time to do so.

You need to set a timeline as well, anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. Keep in mind that your projections will deteriorate the further out you go as you make longer-term plans.

For this reason, add extra resources, flexibility, and resilience if you have a longer timeline. You should also be making the goals less specific if you’re charting it out for the longer term.

Step 2: Make a List of Experts

Make and keep a list of credible people who can contribute solid insight and feedback to your initiative. This could range from key stakeholders to industry experts, mentors, and even colleagues who previously planned and rolled out similar projects.

Reach out to the people on this list regularly while you work through the steps to bring diverse insight into your planning process. This way, you will be able to approach any problem from every angle.

Bringing key stakeholders into this initial process will also display your willingness to listen and empathize with their issues. In return, this will build trust and potentially pave the way for smoother buy-in down the line.

Advertising

Step 3: Anticipate the Future

After identifying your goals and gathering feedback, it’s time to consider what the future would look like if everything goes as you intuitively anticipate. Then, lay out the kind and amount of resources (money, time, social capital) that might be needed to keep this anticipated future running.

Step 4: Brainstorm on Potential Internal and External Problems

Next, think of how the future would look if you encountered unexpected problems internal and external to the business activity that seriously jeopardize your expected vision of the future. Write out what kind of potential problems you might encounter, including low-probability ones.

Assess the likelihood that you will run into each problem. To gauge, multiply the likelihood by the number of resources needed to address the problem. Try to convert the resources into money if possible so that you can have a single unit of measurement.

Then, think of what steps you can take to address these internal and external problems before they even happen. Write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Lastly, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different possible problems and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

Step 5: Identify Potential Opportunities, Internal and External

Imagine how your expected plan would look if unexpected opportunities came up. Most of these will be external but consider internal ones as well. Then, gauge the likelihood of each scenario and the number of resources you would need to take advantage of each opportunity. Convert the resources into money if possible.

Then, think of what steps you can take in advance to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Finally, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different unexpected opportunities and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

Advertising

Step 6: Check for Cognitive Biases

Check for potential cognitive biases that are relevant to you personally or to the organization as a whole, and adjust the resources and plans to address such errors.[1] Make sure to at least check for loss aversion, status quo bias, confirmation bias, attentional bias, overconfidence, optimism bias, pessimism bias, and halo and horns effects.

Step 7: Account for Unknown Unknowns (Black Swans)

To have a more effective strategy, account for black swans as well. These are unknown unknowns -unpredictable events that have potentially severe consequences.

To account for these black swans, add 40 percent to the resources you anticipate. Also, consider ways to make your plans more flexible and secure than you intuitively feel is needed.

Step 8: Communicate and Take the Next Steps

Communicate the plan to your stakeholders, and give them a heads up about the additional resources needed. Then, take the next steps to address the unanticipated problems and take advantage of the opportunities you identified by improving your plans, as well as allocating and reserving resources.

Finally, take note that there will be cases when you’ll need to go back and forth these steps to make improvements, (a fix here, an improvement there) so be comfortable with revisiting your strategy and reaching out to your list of experts.

Conclusion

A great way to deal with feelings of uncertainty during this pandemic is to anticipate obstacles with a good plan – and a sure road to that is practicing strategic thinking.

In the coming months and years, you’ll need to continue navigating uncharted territory so that you can lead your team to safe waters. Regularly doing these 8 steps to strategic thinking will ensure that you can prepare for and adapt  to the coming changes with increasing clarity, perspective, and efficiency.[2]

More on Thinking Smarter

Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next