Music, Food, Beer; in That Order
Music genre, volume and tempo are now making noise as a psychological influence on consumers and patrons globally, but are we overlooking the important, silent details?
We’ve all felt uncomfortable meeting friends, colleagues, or even a date at a bar before. After all, it’s perfectly natural to be nervous before entering a social situation in a public space. However, how many times is this discomfort caused or exacerbated because it’s just impossible to hold a decent conversation? Tinny, scratchy, overly loud sound systems seem to have been on trend for decades in the UK bar scene. Visiting such establishments can be disorienting and even painful experience, which, in the short term, may well cause you to drink or eat faster, consume and spend more subconsciously.
Great, right? Stop the press! We’ve found some unholy grail by which to profit and rejoice? Alas, the answer resoundingly is NO.
I can’t speak for you, but whenever I’ve had one of these experiences, the chances are, I’ll never return to risk it again. Even if I’m left unfazed, or am just too drunk (Hiccup!) to care, the chances are that at least one person in my group will have their experience negatively affected. Heading out to a bar or restaurant is supposed to be a fun and social occasion, inclusive of all manner of people. The sound system should add to the overall ambience, not beat everyone over the head like some bad bar brawl scene from a Hollywood film.
Perhaps where our experiences here might diverge is that I design and install Audio Visual systems for a living. So, where your annoyance might plateau, mine only begins. You might imagine that someone, somewhere, decided to cheap out on equipment or services causes these problems. Of course, the budget can impact these things, but, in my experience, that is often not the case. I’ve seen systems that are clearly high end and very expensive, implemented so poorly that they are a complete waste of money beyond the badge. Perhaps the classic is a costly sound system fed with the bar staff’s 15-year-old failing iPod (other music systems are available) playing back MP3 as old as some of the patrons.
There are many, many fundamental issues that I see time and again in my personal and professional capacities that are entirely utterly unnecessary, and undoubtedly costly mistakes. Anyone in the bar, club or restaurant trade would do well to step back and consider that audiovisual technology has advanced so quickly in the last decade that almost everybody can afford cinema quality in their home should they so choose, yet the attitude toward the reproduction of recorded music in a bar environment has stood still. It’s time that changed for those who are serious about repeat custom, customer satisfaction and maximising spends.
Anyone in the bar, club or restaurant trade would do well to step back and really consider that audio visual technology has advanced so quickly in the last decade that almost everybody can afford cinema quality in their home should they so choose, yet the attitude toward reproduction of recorded music in a bar environment has stood still. It’s time that changed for those who are serious about repeat custom, customer satisfaction and maximising spends.
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