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The Breakers



November 3, 2010

Meal Music – Part 2 (Second Course)
By Patrick O’Neill

Photo by E. Laignel

Are you listening? In our previous article on music in restaurants and bars, several successful restaurateurs pointed out that a strong, structured playlist is a key element in defining the atmosphere and even the overall image of an eating establishment. If you’re still tossing whatever tunes strike your fancy onto your sound system, it’s time to start taking your music programming seriously.

Lori Hon of Gray V, (, which curates music for restaurants, hotels and retailers, says that means designing a playlist that fits your restaurant’s mood, not yours or your staff’s. “It may sound pretty obvious, but you shouldn’t go into a restaurant hearing hip hop one night and jazz the next. As a consumer, I appreciate a consistent audio experience, just like the food. For restaurants in general, the idea is to manage those expectations.”

Music is a crucial part of that process, says Brittany Lyke, Social Media and Public Relations at Muzak (, because it helps create an underlying impression and set the stage for the meal. “In a restaurant, the dining experience typically starts about a half hour before the customer starts eating so the music contributes to the feeling about the restaurant long before the food arrives.”

In a bar, of course, the customer is typically served much sooner Continue Reading…



August 23, 2010

Hitting the right note with a restaurant playlist
By Patrick O’Neill

Photo Courtesy of The Breakers

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 (, 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 (,

Photo Courtesy of The Mina Group

Continue Reading…