What music to play in your restaurant

What music should you play when serving up food? Loud, soft? Up tempo, slower pace? Pop, jazz, music from the country your cuisine is inspired by? There are ways to improve what your customers hear & how they rate your food.

Off the record: Restaurant critics ignore the music 

Off the back of national research showing just four per cent of restaurant reviews mention music, OneMusic Australia today called for restaurant reviewers to take a leadership stance on the entire dine-out experience.

OneMusic’s comprehensive study of 1,650 restaurant and cafe reviews in leading food and restaurant media found just four per cent of reviews mentioned music, against data showing 96 per cent of restaurants actually playing music.

"According to diners, venues overwhelmingly get it wrong: only 20% of customers say, in reality, the music chosen by a venue actually creates a nice atmosphere."

Catherine Giuliano, Director of OneMusic, said, “Reviewers have the power to inspire improvement in our dining experiences, they are the tastemakers. We are asking them to play closer attention to the music served up by our Australian hospitality venues as integral to the overall dining experience. There is a massive opportunity to dial-up the value music brings to dining venues. The quality of music can be improved without spending a cent”.

Katie White, vegan food entrepreneur, author and musician said, “I eat out a lot and I switch on all my senses on when I step inside a venue. It’s not just about the food I am eating, where it’s grown and how it’s produced. It’s about that venue’s attention to music, the authenticity of the experience, the tempo. As food authors we need to communicate that musical setting to readers, it is the whole story they are consuming”.

OneMusic has launched this awareness campaign to encourage restaurants to make better use of good music in their COVID recovery.


About the research

OneMusic examined 1,650 professional restaurant and cafe reviews published 1 April - 31 October 2019 in all leading food and restaurant media.

The Weekend Australian Magazine was a clear leader with 28% of reviews noting the impact of music, good or bad.

‘Music’ cannot be rated quickly in consumer reviews. Quandoo asks diners about ‘atmosphere’ and ‘noise levels’, Zomato provides diners with ‘experience’ in the Review Highlights, TripAdvisor/The Fork asks diners to rate ‘setting’, Open Table asks diners to rate ‘ambiance’. OneMusic calls for ‘music style and quality’ to be included immediately.