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A study of the musical tempo’s impact on the customer

by | Apr 7, 2021 | Music for retail | 0 comments

ROYAL STREAMING – Study – Wayne’s Coffee

During a week, an observational study of cafe guests was conducted in order to calculate the average visit time through high, low, and varied musical tempo. Furthermore, a survey was conducted at the café to investigate whether the cafe guests experienced the atmosphere differently at the various tempos of the background music.


Companies use different strategies to influence customer behavior in order to attract customers, create value for them and generate purchases to maximize revenue. Companies use a variety of tools to enhance the customer experience of a service. A properly designed environment can also affect customer behavior in the desired direction and lead to greater revenue for the company.

Cafes and restaurants face a particular dilemma; The owners want different customer behaviors depending on how the activity on the premises looks, in order to maximize revenues. During lunchtime, when the number of customers generally increases, owners want a faster throughput rate. In a quiet afternoon, it is rather beneficial to have a slower flow rate to always have visitors in the room.

It is therefore vital to the owners to find a tool for influencing guests’ flow rate in the desired direction, without changing the atmosphere to the extent that the guests notice it. In addition, it should be possible to influence the behavior of customers in the same direction during the same day!

People are attracted to pleasant environments. In order to be competitive, it is therefore important to create an attractive atmosphere. The environment of a premise consists of different components and resources, some are easier to adjust and vary than others – music is easy to adjust. It can be changed without great effort at any time during a day. Therefore, it is appealing to analyze how much power the music has on customers and how this affects the customer’s perception of the atmosphere and value of the service.

The Study

through a one-week observational study at one of the cafes owned by Wayne’s Coffee. The choice fell on a cafe rather than a restaurant since the customer has more freedom to both extend and shorten their visit there. At restaurants, you often have limited visit time, unlike a cafe.

The study was supplemented by a survey to capture how the customer experienced the atmosphere at the café. This was done in order to examine if the ambiance in the room was perceived differently at a high and low tempo of the background music and see if it leads to any variation in the value for the customer. The music was manipulated (although without deviating from the cafe chain’s normal musical feeling and genre) and varied between morning and afternoon according to the schedule on the right. To increase the reliability of the survey, the volume was kept constant throughout the experiment.


  • A description of the cafe visitor
  • The time when the visitor took their seat at the cafe – The time when the visitor left the cafe
  • Total time of visit
  • Number of repeat purchases
  • Potential influencing factors
  • Whether the cafe visitor was a part of the study selection
  • Whether the cafe visitor answered the survey or not

In order to demonstrate possible differences in value production at a high and low pace of the music, a survey was conducted.

The survey consisted of two parts, with the first containing five questions including demographic questions about the age and gender of the respondent. This part also included a control question to ensure that other external factors did not affect the customer’s visit time.

The second part of the questionnaire addressed the respondent’s experience of the cafe’s atmosphere and verified that the customer noticed the music playing. If the customer did not notice the music playing, they were excluded from the survey as this was fundamental to the study.

During the study, 322 visitors were observed at Wayne’s Coffee. Of these, 313 are included in the study, and the rest excluded as they did not meet the criteria required for the selection. In total, the survey was answered by 70 café visitors

The result


The results of this study show that music has an impact on customer behavior. Visiting time is influenced by the pace of the music in the room. During the experiment, the high and low tempo music were also mixed in a block, and there was no significant difference in visit time at a high tempo or varied pace (high and low mixed).

Comparing visit time with low and varied tempo music demonstrated significant differences. Furthermore, significant differences were found in visit time at low and high-tempo music. This means that it is largely possible to use slow music as a tool to slow down the customer’s behavior and extend the visit time at the café.