News May 3, 2021

Restaurant critics routinely ignore musical ambience in venues [report]

Restaurant critics routinely ignore musical ambience in venues [report]
Image credit: Marcus Herzberg from Pexels

A new study from OneMusic Australia has found music played in restaurants, bars and cafes is routinely ignored when reviewed by professional critics.

OneMusic Australia, a joint initiative between APRA AMCOS and PPCA, collected 1,650 restaurant reviews published between April and October 2019 in magazines including The Weekend Australian, delicious, Gourmet Traveller and Broadsheet.

Of the reviews collected, just 4.4% mentioned music, despite 96% of restaurants owners playing music in their venues. According to a study cited by OneMusic, only 20% of customers say the music chosen by a venue positively contributes to the atmosphere. View the full results here.

“Reviewers have the power to inspire improvement in our dining experiences, they are the tastemakers. We are asking them to play closer attention to the music served up by our Australian hospitality venues as integral to the overall dining experience,” OneMusic director Catherine Giuliano said in a statement.

“There is a massive opportunity to dial-up the value music brings to dining venues. The quality of music can be improved without spending a cent”.

In light of the survey results, OneMusic has launched a campaign to encourage restaurants to make better use of music as they recover from the pandemic. The organisation also said it collects more than $4.1 million in annual music royalties from restaurants, suggesting managers should get more out of their license fees.

“It’s not just about the food I am eating, where it’s grown and how it’s produced. It’s about that venue’s attention to music, the authenticity of the experience, the tempo. As food authors we need to communicate that musical setting to readers, it is the whole story they are consuming,” food writer and musician Katie White added.

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