SpaceSonology

The influence of music tempo and musical preference on restaurant patron's behavior

Quick research facts

The results show that music preference provided a better explanation of actual time spent dining than tempo, although neither variable had a significant effect on perceived time. Time spent in the restaurant was the most powerful predictor of money spent in the restaurant.

THE INFLUENCE OF MUSIC TEMPO AND MUSICAL PREFERENCE ON RESTAURANT PATRON'S BEHAVIOR​

ABSTRACT

The article reports research into the effect of music tempo and musical preference on consumer behavior in a restaurant. The research investigates the extent to which these two variables influence actual and perceived time spent dining, the amount of money spent, and outcomes in terms of enjoyment of the experience and future behavioral intentions. The results show that music preference provided a better explanation of actual time spent dining than tempo, although neither variable had a significant effect on perceived time. Time spent in the restaurant was the most powerful predictor of money spent in the restaurant. Finally, the outcomes of the restaurant encounter were found to be significantly related to musical preference, but the effects of music tempo were nonsignificant.

RESULTS

Both music tempo and preference were found to be significantly related to time spent in the restaurant when analyzed separately. However, when tempo and preference (and their interaction) were entered into the same analysis, only preference emerged as significant. This supports Herrington’s (1996) proposals that, although music tempo may be associated with time spent in service, music preference is a more valid explanation of the relationship between music and behavior.

None of the alternative hypotheses regarding the effects of music on individuals’ perceptions of time spent in the restaurant were supported. The null hypothesis regarding the effects of preference on time perceptions could not be rejected. The findings here, therefore, contradict Wansink’s (1992) proposal that affect toward music stimuli influences time perceptions, but support the Kent and Kellaris (1992) find- ings, which demonstrated that affect toward music stimulus had no influence on time perceptions.

There was some evidence to suggest that music tempo influenced time perceptions in the restaurant. The results were not, however, significant. This outcome is at odds with previous research that has found that music tempo influences people’s judge- ments of the duration of music (e.g., Kellaris & Kent, 1991) but support findings of research that has found music tempo to have no significant effects on perceptions of the duration of a radio advertisement (Oakes, 1999).

The apparent discrepancies may be because the effects of tempo on time perceptions may be different depending on whether people are passively exposed to music during a consumption experience or actively listening to it in an experimental context.

Both music tempo and musical preference appeared to significantly influence total spending and the amount spent on food and drink in the restaurant. Spending on food and drink was higher under the slow- music condition and for people who rated their liking of the music higher. Personal experience suggests that additional orders of both food(especially desserts)an drinks are often placed when a party remains at a restaurant for any length of time. When the effects of tempo, preference, and their interaction on spend- ing were examined in conjunction, only preference was found to be sig- nificant. However, when time spent in the restaurant was added into the equation it was the only independent variable to have a significant effect on the total amount spent. A breakdown of spending into foodanddrinkrevealedthattempoanditsinteractionwithpreference had a significant influence on the amount of money spent on food, but did not affect spending on drink.

The investigation of the effects of music on satisfaction with the restaurant service encounter revealed that neither music tempo nor ts interaction with preference had a significant effect on the degree to which consumers enjoyed the experience, their intentions to return to the restaurant, or their intentions to recommend it to others. In contrast, all of these measures of satisfactions were significantly, positively correlated with musical preference.

IMPLICATIONS/LEARNINGS

How to conduct similar music research for your brand

STEP 1

HYPOTHESES 

H1: Music tempo will affect actual time spent in the restaurant such that individuals dining under the slow-tempo condition will spend more time in the restaurant than individuals dining under the fast-tempo condition.

H2: Music tempo will not affect actual time spent in the restaurant.

H3: Musical preference will be positively associated with the actual time spent in the restaurant.

H4: There is an interactive effect of music tempo and preference on actual time spent in the restaurant.

H5: Music tempo will influence the amount of money spent in the restaurant such that those dining under the slow-tempo condition will spend more than those dining under the fast-tempo condition.

H6: Music tempo will not influence the amount of money spent in the restaurant.

H7: Musical preference will have a positive influence on the amount of money spent in the restaurant.

H8: Music tempo and preference will have an interactive influence on the amount of money spent in the restaurant.

  • The primary aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between music tempo, musical preference, and the behavior of restaurant patrons.
  • Italian restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Two music tempo conditions: music with 94 or more beats per minute was used to create a relatively fast- tempo condition, and music with 72 or less beats per minute was used to create a relatively slow-tempo condition.
  • The music used for both conditions was jazz, sung by Ella Fitzgerald (the type of music and an artist commonly played in the restaurant) and other environmental features such as the loudness of the music, temperature, and lighting were controlled.
  • Data were gathered on Thursdays and Sundays from customers entering the restaurant over the two days on consecutive weeks.  Individuals were asked to complete a questionnaire just prior to their departure.
  • The final sample consisted of 62 customers, 30 of who had dined under the slow-music condition and 32 who had dined under the fast-music condition.

STEP 2

METHODOLOGY

STEP 3

Survey/Measurement

Observation
The researcher recorded the time at which customers were seated and left their table and the amount spent on food and drink.

Questionnaire (1 represented strongly agree and 5 represented strongly disagree).

  • Liking of the music:
    – I liked the music that was playing.

  • Estimate time spent in the restaurant:
    – Estimate your time spent in this restaurant. 
    – Are you under any time constraints?

  • The enjoyment of the service encounter:
    – I liked dining at the restaurant.

  • Future patronage intentions: 
    – I would return (reverse).
    – I would whether they would recommend the restaurant to others.

 

 

 

 

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