“Where should we eat tonight?” is a question often proceeded by a list of different types of food. Chinese? Mexican? Steak? Then, which has the best food? Which restaurant has the best value? While you ask yourself who makes a better pizza, the restaurant asks, “What (besides the food) will make the customer stay and have the most enjoyable experience possible?”
For more and more restaurants every day, the answer to this question is great background music. Just as a soundtrack of erratic orchestral swells adds suspense to a chase scene in a movie, great background music adds an element of pleasure to the dining experience in restaurants. At Prescriptive Music we believe that if a restaurant has its music programmed properly, every customer should experience a personal soundtrack as an accompaniment to their meal. The goal is to use carefully programmed music vibe to break up the ambient noises of dining in public and enhance the experience of every customer so much that they feel connected to the location and more willing than ever to come back for more.
To build the perfect vibe, there are a few things a Prescriptive Music programmer has to consider. First, the restaurant itself will always have a specific vibe that they want to achieve with their music. Based on the client’s preferences along with careful attention to the location and the type of clientele this particular restaurant attracts, the programmer begins compiling a list to be reviewed by the client. That is one of the most important differences between Prescriptive Music and other music branding companies – we listen to each and every client and ensure that they personally approve every song we select. It is important to consider the style and menu of the location because these details also aid in the building of the playlist. For example, we would never put AC/DC on a playlist for a white cloth, high-end restaurant, but a pizzeria might have familiar Top 40 hits playing while an upscale celebrity chef’s café plays traditional jazz standards. Based on demographic research, thinking about the general clientele frequenting the restaurant is equally as important as its location. For example, if the customers are generally between the ages of 21 and 35, then the music might be a bit more hip and modern. On the other hand, an older client base might call for some retro classics or oldies.
These factors are considered when building each and every playlist, and must be rethought and reworked for different times of the day and different zones. Prescriptive Music uses state-of-the-art music systems that cannot only play multiple different zones or channels at once (ie. a hip, trendy vibe in the bar/lounge with vocal and instrumental jazz in the main dining room), but can also change for the time of day to create a different ambiance entirely. Choose chill, mellow tracks for breakfast, transition into upbeat pop for lunch, and slow down again for dinner so that guests can feel relaxed and happy to sit down for a while. A more high-volume, high turnover restaurant might even keep the tempo of the tracks steadily increasing as the night goes on to keep customers moving. Whatever the client needs, that is what Prescriptive Music will (and can) do!
Of course the talented music programmers have tastes of their own. We like to try and expand the taste range of the client where we can by including new or unknown artists. For the most part, though, the typical checklist that a programmer goes through is as follows: Would I listen to it? Does it fit with the other tracks in the list? Does it fit the style of the location? Does it speak to the appropriate clientele? Finally, is it comfortable – meaning, does it enhance the experience rather than take it over? Once we can answer “yes” to all of these questions, we find that everyone is happy – the programmers genuinely like the music, the client gives his or her approval of the tracks, and the diner lets us know on a regular basis how much they enjoy the music. With Prescriptive Music, everybody wins.