Music Makes Time Stand Still

Another aspect of the music influencing consumer behavior is the age group. A study showed that restaurants that play Top 40 music in the background result in consumers over 25  feeling as if they were staying in the restaurant longer (Milliman, 1996) . However, when instrumental, “easy listening music” was played, those under 25 felt that they were in the restaurant longer than they actually were (Milliman, 1996).

With that being said, a diner’s musical taste (commonly based on age) can make one’s time in a restaurant seem longer (Bruner, 1990). This aspect is important in the overall experience of the diner, because when a customer feels that they have been in a restaurant too long, they feel the need to “get out”. This feeling of anxiety serves as a catalyst for fast eating or overeating. This also results in a consumer to not want dessert or coffee after the meal, which can interfere with their overall experience at the restaurant, leaving a negative connotation with the restaurant in general (Dube, Chebat, Morin, 1995).

Enjoying good food, and, apparently, good music

Background music in the restaurant plays a large role in a diner’s comfort during their stay. If a diner walks in to a restaurant and is  surrounded by aggressive, heavy metal, they may not feel comfortable and leave (North and Hargreaves, 1996) . The music also puts a consumer at ease, allows them to want to stay at the restaurant, and perhaps want to splurge on an Irish coffee or a decadent dessert (Radocy and Boyle, 1998). A study also proved that in comparison to aggressive and slower music,  the slow-tempo background music resulted in a slower pace of eating in restaurants and a significantly greater sales volume (Milliman, 1986).


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