The Food Was Great, But the Music Was Wrong

Have you ever been to restaurant, where you had the feeling that the music was wrong? A couple of years ago i had a funny experience, that a couple of guests we had invited for some lectures in multisensorial branding. Both came back from the same restaurant and declared independently, that “the food was great, but he music was wrong.”

Why did both of them get this impression? To give you an explanation of want went wrong, i will try to describe the restaurant and its environment. The restaurant is situated in a small castle, from 1886. The interior decoration is historic and matches the age of the building and the china, glasses, the cutlery, and the uniforms of the staff matched the dishes and the wine. After being seated and the waitress had taken your orders, you suddenly realized that something is wrong. Something that breaks your illusion, something that leads you to feel that the authenticity is broken and you stand  with one leg in 1886 and the other and 1980. The branding and aesthetics of the historic environment were not complete. The music were not curated to match the historic setting. This incident, that two branding experts, independent of each other, have the same experience shows that you cannot fool your clients. Every single element in your client experience must be well considered, not only the location, the decoration, and the food, but certainly also the sound.“You only have one chance to make a first impression”
If you do not get a first experience the first time in a restaurant, – there are plenty of other restaurants around the corner. Music is important in a restaurant, hotel lobby, and bar, not only to create the “atmosphere” in relation to the brand in general but also to give your guest a feeling of safety. Imagine this… two friends, girls in their mid 30’s arrive, ready to order a good lunch, to have time to speak confidentially together. They are the first guest of the day. They come to your restaurant of many other reasons than the food and your good service. In this case the girls needed to speak about things they couldn’t talk about at home. But when they enter your place it is completely silent, you can even hear a needle fall to the ground. The silence hits the girls as a shock, now every person in the room can hear what they talk about.

Music also has a social function it is acts like a screen, to help to keep your conversation private. The music, even when played when played very loud, creates a room between guests at the different tables. When the music is on your guest will feel safe to discuss the private matters.

You can close your eyes, but you can not close you ears