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Why Overhead Music Really Matters in QSRs & Restaurants
May. 19, 2022
Why Overhead Music Really Matters in QSRs & Restaurants

Why Overhead Music Really Matters in QSRs & Restaurants

Music can have a major impact on customer experience—a lot more than you might think. Not only does it set the vibe for your restaurant, it reflects how customers perceive your brand.

That’s why simply allowing employees to play their favorite tunes isn’t the best approach. Although they’ll prefer that and employee satisfaction is crucial, there’s a lot to consider.

Zero-In shares how important overhead music is for your QSR or restaurant, and how to use it to your advantage.

Music actually affects the way things taste

According to studies, sounds and music affect the way we perceive the taste of food. Lower pitch sounds and music can enhance the taste of savory dishes like entrées and appetizers, while higher pitches can enhance the taste of sweet foods like ice cream or doughnuts.

With this in mind, consider what playlist might match the dishes you serve and how you can supplement your customers’ dining experience with music.

Match music with your brand

Your music of choice should be truly unique and reflect your brand values. Your ‘sonic identity’ is something that will set you apart from the competition.

You should also consider which demographics frequent your restaurant and what sort of music they might enjoy, even if it’s something that isn’t the most popular at the moment.

Music benefits your employees too

With most employees spending eight hours or even more at your restaurant, a variety of good music will help improve the working experience throughout their shift. And as you probably already know, employee satisfaction is crucial.

If your employees often feel bored at work, they won’t be as motivated to work hard. Music helps to ease the burden of the tasks that aren’t their favorite part of the job.

Music can increase brand recognition and recall

Especially if your restaurant has a unique playlist like it should, customers will often remember the type of music you played. They might even hear a song they heard previously at your restaurant and associate it with eating your food.

And with apps like Shazam that allow you to simply tap a button to find out who sings a song that’s playing, it’s even more likely these days that people will take note of the music you’re playing.

All of this increases the chance that a customer will come back and eat again at your QSR or restaurant.

Automate daily playlists to coincide with operating hours

If your restaurant has a variety of menus (e.g. breakfast, lunch and dinner), then you might even use different playlists for each part of the day. And if you do, you can automate it all and set certain playlists to come on at an exact time of day.

This hands-off approach to management isn’t to suggest that an actual person shouldn’t curate your playlists. On the contrary, a hand-crafted playlist is the best way to ensure that each song fits your brand and your restaurant well.

However, the act of running it all can be on auto.

Music reduces perceived wait times

Research shows that music helps distract waiting customers and actually reduces their perceived wait time. This is definitely important, especially during the lunch rush and other times where people who are in a hurry want quick service.


If you aren’t already playing overhead music, now’s the time to start setting the mood in your QSR or restaurant. And if you are already, now you know how to frame your playlists, what to populate them with, and the bigger picture in terms of how it affects both the customer and employee experience.