How to choose the right music for your coffee shop

It’s true that people choose coffee shops for their ambience just as much as they do for the coffee on offer. Along with interior décor and lighting, the music you play goes a long way to setting the mood – which is why getting your music choice right is up there on the importance scale. While it might appear simple on the face of it, there’s a lot for you to consider when scrolling through those playlists.

Why the music in your café matters

There’s much more to choosing music for your coffee shop than meets the ear. Background music, if used correctly, is an extremely valuable tool when it comes to generating money. For instance, the beat of the music can affect how long people stay in your shop, while the genre of music can influence spending habits.

Below are some fascinating ways that the right music can benefit your coffee shop…

1. Music can influence expenditure

Interestingly, the music played in a coffee shop can influence how customers perceive your establishment when it comes to clientele. For instance, if you’re playing classical music or jazz, (music more commonly associated with more affluent consumers and establishments); they may assume that your business sells more high-quality, premium produce. Rightly or wrongly, this can justify more expensive products/spending when they shop with you, helping to add a little more bang to their buck.

2. Music can increase customer satisfaction

The volume and pitch of the music you play can also affect your customers' overall satisfaction. To state the obvious, playing music too loudly risks drowning out social interactions and distracting those looking for a mellow spot to knuckle down for some work. Playing it too quietly can mean your shop lacks atmosphere - erring a little closer to eerie than inviting. Not so obvious is how pitch can impact buying decisions. Some fascinating research has shown the pitch of the music we listen to can affect how we perceive taste. Far from music simply being a treat for the ears, it turns out it can be a treat for the taste buds too with high pitches proven to amplify sweet flavours - which, if you offer baked sweet goods, is great news!

3. Music increases customer patience

With busy coffee shops can come longer wait times – and while waiting for the delectable bean is definitely worth it – no one loves a queue (despite what they say about the Brits!) Queuing can become tiresome and customers become restless. Just try not to make that wait too long! Music playing in the background goes a long way to putting them at ease and increasing their patience by giving their mind something to focus on while waiting.

What music should you play to maximise customer satisfaction?

Now we’ve established that music is important, it’s probably time for us to touch on what kind of music you should be playing when it comes to your coffee shop and success with customers. Here are a few things for you to consider when choosing the right music you’re your coffee shop:

1.The beat

The beat of the music in your coffee shop can directly impact your customers' spending behaviours. Research shows that upbeat music is more likely to compel people to leave quickly as the faster beat doesn’t allow people to feel settled. Think of fast food restaurants in this regard – their often upbeat, quick tempo playlists help them to get people in and out – which is what they want (the clue is in the name!).

When it comes to your coffee shop, you’d probably prefer your customers feel at home in a comfortable atmosphere, encouraging them to linger for longer and spend more money with you. So make sure you get your music choice right, as those upbeats can send people in and out of your shop quicker than your chosen songs! We recommend deep house, jazz, and electronic music to help your customers relax, relieve stress and increase spend!

2. Reflecting the vibe

It is not uncommon for coffee shop owners to play ‘crowd pleasers’ - in other words the latest hit songs from the charts. But does this reflect your brand image? If not, we’d steer clear of this.

Your coffee shop's music should reflect your brand image and the vibe you want to give off. If you want to be known as the place to relax and unwind then we recommend genres like jazz and deep house can work. Both are light on the ear but won’t send your customers to sleep.

We’d recommend trying things like Electronica/Chillwave – characterised by mellow vocals or ambient sounds, or Classical with serene piano ballads, symphonies, and tranquil instrumentals. Some coffee shop owners also go down the route of ambient background music, such as the sound of water, animals and soft, soothing vocals. The aim is to provide people with nice background noise that they can socialise to, and these are great for that.

3. Royalties

Paying royalties is when a third party pays a sum of money to an owner of a product or patent in exchange for permission to use their products. Regarding music you can either pay them to the record label of the artist whose music you want to play, or you can pay for a royalty streaming service, who manage payment of the royalties for you.

To avoid being liable for any big fines you’ll want to be clued up on this – it’s not as simple as whacking on your Spotify playlist. Due to copyright laws, you can’t use streaming services like Spotify or Apple in commercial settings (only private ones). If you want to play recorded music, you’ll need a PPL PRS music licence. There is more information on how you can obtain one of these here.

If you’d rather avoid this and look at using royalty-free music instead, here are a couple of good outlets to try:

How Coffee Hit can help you
Looking for more ways to get customers over the line and save money at the same time? Why not open a trade account with Coffee Hit and receive significant discounts on multiple purchases so you can stock your shelves with that high-quality coffee gear your customers will love for less.