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Re: My letter re restaurant music
Message text written by INTERNET:firstname.lastname@example.org
> This is particularly true of places which depend on
liquor sales for profit. They know that certain kinds of audeo
stimulus, which you and I find to be irritating junk noise, boosts
liquor sales. In some restaurants they know they can turn the
tables over and prevent people from lingering, relaxing, and
conversing after a meal if they crank up the stereo with an
Michael....they may think they "know" this but it ain't necessarily so! In
an extensive study in a popular Houston restaurant, a study by a Marketing
Professor from Western Kentucky State Univ. (Millman - 1984)found, "With
the slow music treatment, the average dollar amount of the bar charges per
customer group (dinner table)was $30.47, compared to $21.62 for those under
the fast-music treatment." People ate and left more quickly, with fewer
drinks when the fast music was played. The greater turnover did not,
however, make up for the lost and very lucrative bar tab.
In another study, Millman (1982) found in a supermarket that, "Compared to
the fast-tempo music, the slow tempo background music produced a
significantly slower pace of in-store traffic flow and a SIGNIFICANTLY
GREATER SALES VOLUME."
The Smith and Curnow (1966) study published in the Journal of Applied
Psychology further found that "inappropriately loud or ill-suited music
could create an avoidance condition".
My point is, a lot of conventional "wisdom" is not too wise. You are
right, the management of these establishments think they are doing the
right thing because it's what everyone else does, but they're all wrong
according to the above and other research.
In another study, 42 out of 52 store managers indicated that they believed
"background music" had a positive effect on customers, causing them to buy
more, but all 42 admitted they were not aware of any research that
confirmed their belief.
Muzak's "elevator music" of old was used to brainwash people into thinking
it added "class" or "excitement" when all that background music really adds
is noise. You don't get recorded rock-a-billy music at High Tea!
STEPHEN O. FRAZIER
Writing at 1:15:22 PM on 12/5/97
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