Author: la veranda

Why do people love to eat out in restaurants? It’s not about the food. Restaurant-goers can have their favorite dishes delivered at home with minimal extra charges. Nor is it about gatherings. There are lots of meeting points out there that don’t force you to dine among strangers.

The main attraction point of restaurants, as it turns out, is their ambiance. The atmosphere that they provide is elegant and glamorous without being extravagant. One that lets diners eat and gossip in a carefree environment that is starkly different from the chaotic world outside the front window.

The same should be the case with the music playing in the background – it should set the mood and make the meal enjoyable. But not at the cost of drowning out the diners’ conversations. Here’s how you can choose such a piece of music for your restaurant.

How to Choose the Right Background Music for Restaurants

Follow these tips to choose the right background music for your restaurant:

1. Be knowledgeable about the licensing rights

You have bought a subscription of Pandora or Spotify, so you can just stream the music directly from these apps into your restaurant, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You just can’t stream your favorite playlists through your eatery’s loudspeakers. Here’s why.

Restaurant owners in the United States are required by law to pay a fee to a music service like Spotify, or to a performing rights organization (PRO) that has already paid the fees on their behalf, before they can legally pay the music in their premises.

Doing otherwise might hit you hard in the pocket. Playing copyrighted music exposes the restaurant owners to big fines, with some of them reaching as high as $15,000 per song. So we recommend that you try and avoid going this route.

Pro Tip: There are three main PROs in the US: SESAC, ASCAP, and BMI. All three have a library of millions of songs and thousands of artists, and will give you access to the same after you have paid a one-time licensing fee.


2. Try DJ Music with DJ controller

As a new type of music, DJ music has become more and more popular among young people. Buying the best DJ controller and playing fashion DJ music is also be a good idea!


3. Consider your restaurant’s ambiance

Common sense tells us that a laid-back grill must have a different playlist than a fine-dining restaurant. If you want to transport your diners to Rome while they enjoy homemade pizza and sip on wine, you might want to consider playing Italian instrumentals and classic jazz artists.

If your eating place is filled with diners who love its signature burger and coleslaw, 80s’ party jams or top hits might be your best bet. Coffee shops, which are a good place for dates, meetings and workday lunches, may do well with light genres of music.

All of this is to say that when choosing the background music for your restaurant, think about the ambiance you want to create. Then make sure that the music fits the taste of the diners who regularly come in through your eatery’s doors.


4. Consider the time of the day

You can take things to the next level by selecting background music that suits a specific part of the day. Here’s how to do that:


What kind of conversations are diners most likely to have during lunch? You don’t have to snoop on their table to find out. It’s a no brainer that all of us like to have lively conversations when the sun is shining.

So what type of music is best for daytime? One that is light and fun. It would set the background for those animated chats, without being too intrusive at the same time.

Happy Hours

During the last part of the day, most individuals want to socialize over a light meal and a few soft drinks. They visit the dine-in to recharge their energy levels that are down after a long day at the office.

That is why we recommend that you choose hip-themed music or one with lively instrumental tunes during this part of the day. It will enliven your guests and give their energy levels a shot in the arm.


After a grueling day at the office, people who hit the restaurants in the evening do so to have a breather. Their primary purpose of visit, aside from the food, is to have an environment where they can wind down.

Jazz or classic rock honor this wish of the diners with aplomb. Both these genres won’t overpower the ambiance but would let people connect with them at the same time.

Late night

Customers who visit the restaurant late at night are either those who have just returned from a work shift or students. Both of them could do with a piece of music that could enliven their spirits.

That is to say that you can pick upbeat and louder tunes to energize your premises during late-night meals. They will definitely be engaging for the customers.


5. Try something novel

What is it that is common between gyms, radio stations, grocery stores and other public places? Almost all of them have the habit of playing Top 100 hits one after the other. You won’t be able to make your eatery stand out if you do the same. That is why you should try something new.

Go back to the time when you were branding your restaurant for the first time. What sort of image of your eating place you were trying to convey to your potential customers back then? Ponder about that and then dig a little deeper. Here’s how you can do that.

Search for pre-made playlists on your favorite streaming app that you think would complement the mood of your diners. Or Google artists similar to the ones whose voice and music your customers already enjoy. Offer something that may entice your customers to order more.



Once you have chosen the right background music for your restaurant, the next step involves making sure that you have the right equipment to play it. That means having a high-end sound system, one that may have multiple inputs and outputs and an advanced mixer. Such kind of equipment will help you make the most of the music you’ve picked for your diners.