29 Jun

Hello, my name is Suzanne Lassise, and welcome to my final project for Music in Contemporary American Culture! I work in the restaurant industry as a waitress, and I am constantly around hungry customers and seemingly trivial background music. After our first Writing Project, I was forced to actually listen and take note of the particular songs that play during a typical day at my restaurant. I found that the songs usually followed a typical theme of 1940’s Big Band and the occasional smooth alternative song from the Billboard Top 100. The restaurant I work in is a large conglomerate chain, so every store has the same “soundtrack”.

There have also been studies to indicate that music selection plays a pivotal part in the consumption of food and particular food selections when eating dinner at a restaurant (Alpert and Alpert, 1990; Areni and Kim, 1993).This shows that there is a higher authority that hand-selects songs to chime in the background during dinner, and that there has to be a particular thought process as to what song is appropriate for a restaurant service.

Music is notorious for making people want to get up and dance, but what about other things? Can music make someone subconsciously overeat at a retaurant, or even vie for a decadent dessert they do not need? Can music put people in a calm state to enjoy oneself, and carry a conversation during a date or family meal? Can music really influence someone to purchase more than they intended?

In other words: How does music influence someone eating a meal at a restaurant?

Well, let’s dig in and find out!


A picture of me listening to Spanish music and about to devour some tapas in Barcelona, Spain