Is it Time for Restaurants to Say Goodbye to Free Streaming? Yes.
Blog post over. Also, I will be submitting this to the Guinness book of world records for the shortest and most truthful blog post because I need not say more.
In the interest of context, though, I offer two stories from the last six months:
We went out over Christmas break with our wives as a company Christmas party—a chance to celebrate the year and try an excellent restaurant without the gaggle of kids in tow. The meal was outstanding. Several dishes were among the best we have ever had for that type of food. Since it was a celebratory outing, we ordered cocktails, appetizers, main dishes, wine with dinner, and dessert.
You get the idea. We were racking up a ticket that would cost hundreds of dollars, and luckily, the meal and service were living up to it. But the speaker over our heads shattered that atmosphere for 30 indelible seconds…
In the middle of a meal that would be one of our fanciest of the year, Burger King’s intentionally off-key Whopper jingle showed up like a drunk Uncle at a family holiday party – obnoxious and hard to ignore.
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Similarly, I was out with my family in town this last week eating. Luckily, this was no premium dining experience – think upscale sports bar with TVs and many beers on tap. Still, as we sat and enjoyed our food and drinks, the music gave way to an ad. While this didn’t shatter the ambiance, it still broke the mood.
The Solution is Insanely Cheap
These businesses were playing Spotify or Pandora, which have premium options. Spotify Premium starts at $9.99/mo and Pandora Plus at $4.99/mo. I am guessing that is about the profit on one cocktail we had that night, and your fine-dining patrons do not have to listen to Burger King sling lettuce, onions, and tomato.
Classically, the damage is done. Although we have told many people about the excellent food, the story of the BK commercial playing also comes up. Not a good look for this type of restaurant.
Even if we didn’t share the story, you don’t want to shock your customers with unexpected annoyances. (Unless you are making a statement and your restaurant sells deconstructed Organic Whoppers and plays only BK commercials throughout the years, I digress.)
So this is friendly advice: if you own, manage, or even work at a restaurant playing free streaming services, upgrade! The cost is almost nothing compared to the ROI when a speaker doesn’t shout at customers to buy Whoppers while eating a $50, perfectly cooked filet.
Music is a big part of the experience at many stores and eateries, ensure that your customers have an ad-free experience. After all, they are spending with you, not Burger King.