Owning a restaurant is a dream come true for most purveyors. We get to create the menu and atmosphere that speaks to our personalities and hopefully hits others in the same way. With around 50,000 restaurants opening in the United States annually, it takes attention to detail to stand above the competition. If you’re looking to set your business apart, a restaurant sound system may be the detail you’re missing.

Why restaurant sound systems are important

Dining out in the twenty-first century is a fully immersive experience. Not only is the food expected to excite, but the restaurant ambiance must be equally impressive. We go out to treat all our senses to memorable experiences, not just our taste buds. If one aspect doesn’t measure up, it takes away from the overall experience.

We spend an enormous amount of money creating unique dishes and a visual atmosphere that matches the vibe we’re after. Both are equally important sensory elements. But what about our ears? If we aren’t paying attention to the sound, we’re ignoring a crucial component of the sensory experience that can make or break an establishment. The audio experience in restaurants is just as important as the food and decor.

If you’d like to create a compelling audio ambiance but don’t have experience with high end audio equipment, designing a restaurant sound system from the ground up can seem daunting. This has many business owners wondering whether or not a commercial sound system is worth the time and effort. Here are some great arguments for investing in a solid sound system.

Restaurant sound systems contribute to consistency

One of the main reasons we visit our favorite restaurants time and time again is because we know what to expect. The food is consistently on point, and the atmosphere inside serves us on another level. Sound is a large part of the overall restaurant atmosphere, and it’s one that we have complete control over. Consistency here is as important as it is in the food and decor.

Great restaurants should never be too loud or too quiet. A restaurant sound system allows us to maintain the volume we want, no matter how many guests visit on any given night. Left to their own devices, bartenders and hosts may play music that’s too loud or doesn’t suit the vibe to fill the silence. A restaurant sound system with dedicated playlists solves these problems.

The ability to command full control of the volume and quality of the sound helps us maintain the consistency of our brand, and ensures no guest is ever driven away by overly loud music that doesn’t fit the bill. In short, it allows us to provide a consistent experience for our valued guests.

Music contributes to branding

Everything in your establishment should represent the brand that you are building. Playing music that makes sense with the food and decor helps complete your brand offering, and ensures guests don’t have disjointed experiences. 

Investing in a sound system gives us the ability to play a branded playlist at optimum volume, at all times. It also provides the opportunity to promote special events without lifting a finger. Pushing new menu items or daily specials? You can do that too. Just slip a homemade commercial into the mix and you’ve got an easy way to upsell and bring guests back for more.

restaurant atmosphere

Music enhances social interactions

The majority of restaurant guests show up with a companion or two. That’s because we go to restaurants for the interaction as we do for the food. Creating an atmosphere punctuated by great music can keep guests coming back and hanging around longer. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and higher ticket totals. Both great things for your bottom line.

If you’ve got multiple, defined areas in your restaurant, a sound system is particularly important. Sound zoning allows us to play different playlists in each area and control sound levels individually. Each speaker zone can be controlled precisely, delivering the right mix at the right volume for every environment. This allows you to designate certain areas for quiet conversation, and others for a more lively environment.

Ambient noise

Aside from ambiance enhancement, another very important reason why it’s wise to invest in a restaurant sound system is noise masking. While we want our establishments to be bustling rooms full of happy customers, we don’t want that enthusiasm to translate into distracting noise. Playing ambient white noise or low volume music through a properly calibrated restaurant sound system allows us to mask the noise when guests get lively.

Additionally, operating a restaurant is a noisy endeavor with or without a group of animated patrons. The processes of bartenders mixing drinks and cooks preparing food create a considerable amount of noise. Drown it out with white noise or semi soft music to take it out of the equation.

Improved customer experience

Many of the reasons we’ve covered boil down to the simple goal of improving customer experience. If the room is too loud or too quiet, it can negatively impact our experience, and that can negatively impact the restaurant’s bottom line.

If we tell our friends and family that a restaurant was too noisy, too quiet, or played music not suited to the food and decor, they are unlikely to rush in. If, on the other hand, the music falls into line with the curated atmosphere created by all the elements, it’s a reason to pay a visit.

Well placed music at reasonable levels contributes to customer experience in ways few other factors can. It gives us the sense that we are where we want to be, and drives us to return for a similar experience. Consistency is key to a great customer experience, and restaurant audio equipment can deliver that for your sound design.

Setting up a restaurant sound system

In order to gain all the benefits associated with a sound system, you first have to invest in some basic restaurant audio equipment. Choosing the right equipment will deliver the ambiance you’re after, and do it within your budget. Before you go out and purchase a piecemeal system on sale, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for.

Live music and computer playlists are treated differently, as far as sound system sources are concerned. Not all components will work well with all sources. Furthermore, you’ll need to know what type of speakers you need to fill the room with sound without drowning out guest conversation or losing audio integrity. There are a number of variables that must be accounted for, and identifying how to get what you’re after requires working with professionals.

We understand the obstacles you face, as well as the best route toward achieving your goals. Your restaurant sound system relies upon factors from equipment to room shape for great sound, so dealing with people who understand both is the best way to get you where you want to be.