Did you know all 1,500 Chipotle’s restaurants play the same music? Chris Golub is a major reason why. Golub is the founder of Studio Orca. His company creates customized playlists for restaurants.
Chipotle’s is thrilled with the results because it is committed to doing everything necessary for the right mood. Music is a big part of that endeavor. Chris Arnold, spokesperson for Chipotle’s, explains (Claire Suddath, “D J Burrito” Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/21/13–10/27/13, pp. 87–89):
“‘We could’ve just piped in some satellite radio. It would’ve been cheaper. . . . But if you’re creating a restaurant, you need the right atmosphere. We’re sticklers for detail. We wanted something that belonged just to us.’” (p. 88)
Chipotle’s is on the right track in this emerging practice of using music for brand enhancement. Numerous studies indicate the powerful effects music has on the dining experience. It affects food enjoyment, mood, what you eat, how fast you eat, and how much you eat.
Golub regularly visits his client restaurants to observe customers, listen, and take notes. Based on that data, he creates or tweaks the playlist as needed.
So what are some of the songs on the Chipotle’s list? Here is a sampling:
Cosmic Tides—Peaking Lights
Crazy In Love—Pattern Is Movement
Waiting In The Night—Forest Fire
All I can say is I have definitely had my dining experience enhanced or harmed just via the music. I am happy to see more restaurants are beginning to pay attention to this important area of the customer experience.