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:

Carmensita—Devendra Banhart

Cosmic Tides—Peaking Lights

Crazy In Love—Pattern Is Movement

Waiting In The Night—Forest Fire

Mean Streets—Tennis

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.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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