A study has shown that while some restaurants are reducing how loud they play music, louder restaurants are serving people greasy food more often. There are two possibilities for this phenomenon. There may be a correlation between giving into temptation and consuming large doses of fat – or – we could be fallen prey to the ‘self-indulgent effect‘.
Without realizing it, your preference for when your favorite song starts in the restaurant–and when you decide to order–could vary depending on what type of restaurant atmosphere you’re in. For example, when the music volume is overly loud in an eatery, people order unhealthy items more often than healthy ones.
Researches have revealed that the volume of music has a direct impact on heart rate and on arousal. The study “Volume of Background Music Modulates Eating Behavior” published on Springer found that the more you are aroused, the more likely you will order food.
Making people more mindful with softer music has the result of ordering healthier versus louder, stimulating environments that cause diners to order less healthy options.
Restaurants and supermarkets can use powerful music to increase the amount of money they generate. Tests have shown that when ambient music is played in establishments, customer are more likely to order more food or other items due to their altered mood. These effects were seen even when customers don’t notice it.
Ambient noise and volume levels during social experiences has always been a popular topic, but has only recently started to be studied as an influential force on what we buy.
In his research for this article, Biswas conducted an experiment at a café in Stockholm where he monitored the music volume to see how it affected what was ordered.
In one instance, when playing songs at 70Db, there was a dieter’s antidote 54% higher in sales than when playing 55Db songs.
The items on the menu were divided into three categories: healthy, non-healthy, and neutral.
Analysing the behaviour of customers over several hours on multiple days, the data revealed that each person was exposed to louder or quieter music at random.
Thanks to the influence of classical music, the number of incidents has decreased by 66% in recent years at one restaurant.
Atul Pathak, the owner of the Shepherd’s Bush branch of McDonald’s, coordinated with the local council and police to cut down on disorderly behavior. He has played classical music and turned off wifi in an effort to reduce crime in the branch.
McDonald’s tested the effects of classical music on customers by playing it in some of their restaurants. Evidence shows that playing classical music stimulates a more appropriate behavior, but classical doesn’t always apply to “hip-hop sandwich,” a menu item created in 2016.
The restaurant uses various music types throughout the day to determine what customers order. Some restaurants start the day typically with classical music and gradually increase the volume throughout the day to appeal to moods, such as dinner time with instruments and chords.