Season 9 Episode 8

How much does sound affect eating and is it noticeable enough to make a difference?

In this week’s episode, we explore the beautiful relationship between music and food. We constantly talk about how flavour is made up of taste and aroma and we often judge food based on what it looks like and how it feels – but what about sound and how does that contribute to the experience of eating? This is a fun chat that will get you giggling, but will also make you think about how you can adjust your surroundings as you enjoy your next meal! Join in and let us know if you think sound can affect taste. Is there a certain style of music or a particular track that always takes you back to a specific dish? Comment below!

Best soundbite“If you go in there and you’re listening to Chinese pan pipes, then it’s not going to be the same experience.” – Jamie Spafford

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How do restaurants manipulate your dining experience using music? Do their playlists they build influence the way we eat with the use of tempo, volume etc?

Tempo matters – eating pace directly corresponds to the tempo and rhythm of music. If you want faster turnover then faster tempo and more upbeat music helps. People order, eat and leave quicker. However, a slower tempo and more relaxed feel makes diners feel more comfortable and they stay longer, often spending more per head (dessert, coffee or an extra drink).

Volume matters – if it’s too loud… conversation becomes harder… instead guests eat/drink more.

Fun Stat: Across 3 Saturdays and 2 bars in France an experiment was undertaken. When the music in the venue was at 72 decibels it took an average of 14.5 mins to finish a 250ml glass of beer. This decreased to just 11.5 mins for the same beer, also on a Saturday night at the same bar when the decibel level was increased to 88 decibels (22% higher).
The number of gulps did not alter, but the intervals between gulps shortened.
On average meaning one extra drink per person per visit! (£££)


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