Background Audio in Restaurants and Retail
Someone once told me that poor sound is sub-consciously irritating to customers and it can have an effect on sales, repeat business and the overall experience for the customer. Restaurant background audio and music in retail can be so influential, yet many struggle to get it right.
Before I was in the Audio Visual industry I would have probably told them that they were talking nonsense and that I don’t even notice the background music in most places. And maybe that’s the point; the customer shouldn’t be conscious of the audio, rather the audio needs to compliment the customer’s experience whether that is soft coverage of audio in retail spaces, or a fuller experience when dining in a restaurant with friends. There is always a juggling balance with Audio as one person’s ‘too loud’ is another person’s ‘just right’. However, the difference between too loud and too quiet is a different argument; one thing I can now agree on is that poor audio has a negative impact on any business.
What affects the sound quality of restaurant background audio?
Imagine the following scenario; a restaurant or department store with a central music system being pumped across all floors and areas. Now imagine said establishment has reduced the number of speakers/type of speaker to fit with a lower budget and there is a speaker only every 10m. Not only will customers be walking in and out of audio, there is the risk that some members of customers (in the quieter areas) are likely to want the volume raised as they cannot hear as well in their areas; now, not only do you have areas of no/limited audio you now have areas of increased audio that are too high and uncomfortable to stand in. This is a problem, and is one of the reasons why audio coverage is so important and the design of your solution is carried out by experts.
As mentioned in the previous section audio levels are a bone of contention. Too high and obviously it is uncomfortable to listen to and customers will want to leave the area, in turn losing business. Likewise in a restaurant environment your customers will struggle to talk to each other and will undoubtedly raise their voice, as will the other customers in the restaurant causing a chaotic environment for all.
Vice Versa; too quiet and the restaurant will struggle with any atmosphere. We all know from experience when a restaurant is quiet you don’t want to talk too loudly either as you can feel a little self-conscious not wanting to disrupt the other customers…zzzzzz
Another key issue is the content of your music system. If you have an age old CD on repeat every day you are likely to irritate your staff and also the customer with the same old ‘cheesy’ songs. I can confirm this as a waiter/bar man while in my university days working for an Italian restaurant that had one cd (Classic Italian Hits) played over and over and over and over and over….
Fortunately you don’t need to endure this problem anymore; as profiled music is available via the network or monthly issued CDs that update the music to avoid repetition every day of every month of every year. Music can be scheduled for different times of the day to suit the needs of the business…Friday nights need to be upbeat whilst Tuesday lunchtimes don’t have the same requirements. Finding the happy medium of restaurant background audio is made much easier by the availability of fully integrated audio systems
How do we resolve the issues of poor audio?
The design of an restaurant background audio system is essential. MVS are experts in audio and are accredited to design and install Bose and Yamaha commercial audio solutions as well as having experience working with other manufacturers such as Cloud, Inter-M, Toa and many more.
If you would like further information about audio systems speak to the MVS team today on 01202 8616696.