Hitting the right note with a restaurant playlist
By Patrick O’Neill
It’s often the first thing people notice when they walk into a restaurant or bar, sometimes before they walk in. Yet for many eating establishments, it’s the last thing on their impress-the-customer list, if it makes the list at all. It’s the music.
One of the worst things a new restaurant can do, says Lori Hon, President and Co-Founder of Gray V (www.grayv.com), which curates music for restaurants, hotels and retailers, is waiting until the last minute to focus on the music. “Many people think they’ll do it themselves. Then they get very busy and realize it’s not a good idea.”
Allowing only a couple weeks for the task not only makes it harder to put together an appropriate playlist, it leaves little time for logistics, like deciding what type of sound system to use and where to discreetly place the speakers for maximum effect.
For most successful restaurateurs, music is part of the planning process from day one and considered a crucial element in defining the restaurant. “The audio helps set the stage,” says Patric Yumul, Vice President of Operations for the Michael Mina Group (www.michaelmina.net),