Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Customised Background Music for F&B outlets. It’s the time to make sure your brand sounds right!

Customised Background Music for F&B Outlets.

It’s the time to make sure your brand sounds right!

Research Results on the Impact of Background Music on Consumer Behaviour and Retail Buying (F&B Industry)

A recent published research with music from USEA Pte Ltd conducted in Singapore has relevant conclusions and affirmations on the importance of background music on consumer behaviour and retail spending for the Food and Beverage industry. This research is an analysis on the use music in F&B.  This research article is published by the SAGE journal “Psychology of Music” – one of the leading journals in the field of psychology of music.  (, a preprint version is available at )

Customised background music is original music composition tailored to the brands’ identity.

This research in particularly is relevant to the current Covid-19 pandemic, for F&B operators to rethink their business operations and their selection of appropriate background music to effectively match their branding, ambience and customers’ profile.

USEA Pte Ltd will be organising upcoming talks to share this results findings. More information on the date of the talk will be updated.

Says Mr. Jerry Chen, CEO of USEA Pte Ltd,

‘Following reports from Minister Lawrence Wong indicating that loud music should not be played in F&B outlets during Covid-19, many F&B players are baffled by what definition is ‘loud’.  And more importantly, is how the F&B operators can control their background pipe-in music especially when they have more than one outletIt is more than just loud or soft music.  From the style and genre and tempo of the playlist, background music can influence buying behaviour and mood.  Different types of music can bring out a spectrum of perception, including whether a patron feels the need to talk louder regardless of the volume and conduct of customers in-store.  The recent research has shown the benefits of customization over a random playlist.’

Why Are F&B Players Not Focusing on Music? What’s Not Right for F&B Players?

Often F&B operators spend much of their time on various work such as procuring the right equipment, supplies, décor, visual brand assets such as brand logo, graphic design and the right team as part of their restaurant branding.  The last thing for them to seriously pay attention to is probably music.  Many F&B operators may just say they do not care much about music, but this research has clearly shown the psychology of musical influences on spending and subconscious brand perception.

Some smaller restaurants also think that they might just not be big enough or are unsure of how they should go about to select their background music. F&B operators often cite some of their concerns such as copyrights issues and costs.

F&B businesses might know the importance of background music but yet many brush it aside as a miscellaneous item. Often the choice of pipe-in music is manoeuvred by the ground crew or a single person’s personal preference.

Some F&B outlets choose to simply play top popular hits from their Spotify, YouTube accounts, CDs or radios. However, many do not know that it is illegal to stream from such online services meant for personal and non-commercial use. F&B outlets will risk having lawsuits filed against them. Hence, customised background music offers F&B operators the ideal solution to avoid any potential copyrights issues with original music.

Besides legality issues, by using common songs these brands are not able to differentiate their persona from competitors as they are judged as playing radio songs without character. For restaurants, it is vital to find the right vibe through a controlled music management system so as to provide uniformity in the experience throughout the outlets. Dine-in crowds are present for an experience as eating is an all-round sensory process – more than just taste itself, unless you do food delivery of course.

Professional music curators are well sought after by established F&B giants who know how soundscape psychology influences people’s perception and buying behaviour such as food selection.   

This research shows how background music is crucially and highly associated to a consumers’ perception of the restaurant, to reinforce brand identity in consumers’ minds and how they will spend in this restaurant. F&B operators need to select suitable background music as part of audio branding to achieve the comprehensive impact of successful brand association and importantly, to sustain customers’ interests and increased spending.

What are the CONSIDERATIONS for Customised Background Music?

  1. The selected background music should match your brand identity and concept, just as important as your interior décor or food presentation.
  2. Genre, tempo and pace of the music, or what you play on weekdays or weekends, different time belts, and the profile of customers visiting during specific days or time also affect your table turns and spending.
  3. Do not let the choice of music to be influenced by your personal preference or let your manager choose the music. The choice of music should always be based on customers’ preference, considering how the target audience will respond to the chosen music.

Customised Background Music in audio branding reflects brand identity, brand value and consumers’ perception.

In summary, the use of appropriate background music for F&B operators is proven to:

  • Connect with their patrons on an emotional level, creating a brand experience subconsciously
  • Increase consumers’ stay
  • Increase average spending
  • Enhance customers’ brand loyalty and brand perception

USEA Global has extensive expertise and experience to assist its F&B and retail clients create customised background music perfect for their unique branding.

For more information, visit:


Research Paper

Title: The Sound of Music on the Pocket: A Study of Background Music in Retail

Authors: Bryan Jun-Keat Choo, Thai-Shawn Cheok, David Gunasegaran, Kum-Seong Wan, Yuan-Sheng Quek, Clare Shu-Lin Tan, Boon-Kiat Quek, Samuel Ken-En Gan



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