Does Live Music Actually Increase Consumer Spending?

Are you a bar owner that’s struggling to bring in customers during the week? Live music may be the answer. Let me paint you a word picture –

It’s Tuesday evening and you’re running the bar. There’s that one guy sipping on a rum and coke while glued to the dart board. Your Tuesday regular, James, is at the bar once again trying to convince you that a Manhattan Tiki Side Twister is a drink that every bartender should know how to pour. With Tuesday nights looking like this it doesn’t make sense for you to be open. It costs more to operate than you make from your 2 customers. There is so much empty space on the patio that you might as well put the chairs up and prepare for closing. 

Then walks in a tall skinny man with somewhat longer hair and a well groomed beard. He asks you “Hey, are you booking any musicians throughout the week? I’ve been trying to find gigs in the area and your patio looks like a nice place to play.” You say “Why not? Come in next Tuesday at 7pm and we’ll get you set up on the patio.”

You create a Facebook event for the 2000 people who like your bar page and about 20 of them show up to listen to live music. James is listening and he doesn’t even take the time to explain his complicated drinks to you. He orders a couple beers so he can get back to the show. A couple groups walking by hear the acoustic guitar and decide to stop in for a listen. It finally makes sense to stay open on Tuesday nights. 

So what are the reasons to bring in live music? Let’s start with some of the benefits of having live music at your bar or restaurant.

Positive Atmosphere

First and foremost, having a good live musician will create a positive atmosphere. Especially if the performer isn’t afraid to enjoy themselves and interact with your patrons. Nothing helps me forget my troubles like a positive live performance.

Conversation Starters

Live music also brings people together. Strangers are more likely to interact with each other if they have a common experience (Live Music) to bridge the gap and create a conversation opener. 

Additional Customers

The main question is always “will having a musician actually bring people in the door?” The answer is yes, as long as you find the right musician for your crowd and promote it properly. The safest bet is to bring in someone who knows the classics that almost everyone loves. Request crowd pleaser songs such as, Halfway There, Living on a Prayer, Friends in Low Places, and Don’t Stop Believing. In order to get the most out of having your musician at the bar, you need to promote the event on your Facebook, Instagram, and Website. You also need the performers to promote the show to their following. Lastly, print out your live music schedule and post it on your doors. The more people who know you have live music, the better. 

Increase Spending

Does live music influence my current patrons to stay around longer AND spend more? In short, yes. There are multiple behavioral science studies stating that live music causes people to hang around longer. Guests may stop for a meal then end the evening ordering drinks so they can hang around for the show. Your competitors with live music already have figured this out. When your business is slow during the week, you don’t need to worry about turnover as much. Most point of sales have great tracking metrics to track gross receipts and individual items to determine how live music makes an impact at your location. Compare similar nights with and without live music to learn about the specific impact on your bottom line.

Helping the Live Music Scene in Your City

Lastly, you’re doing your community a favor by improving the music scene and providing work for your local musicians. A lot of musicians rely on the smaller paid gigs to make a living. You are making that possible by hosting live music.

Here’s a short list of things to keep in mind when booking live music.

Do you have the appropriate licenses?

If you are unsure what I am talking about I would strongly recommend reading our music licenses article linked here. Make sure you are protected against a copyright lawsuit.

What volume level do you want your music at?

If your musicians play too loudly, it can cause people to leave or leave a nasty Google Review. Make sure your musicians don’t crank the music too loud unless you’re certain that is the atmosphere your patrons want. Gauge the customers interest to determine the proper volume.

Managing the schedule

Managing a live music schedule can add quite a bit of extra stress. Sometimes musicians cancel the week of the show and you will struggle to find a replacement. You also have to find musicians, make the schedule, confirm, and remind the musicians of their shows. Plus you need to promote the shows on top of that. Consider hiring out your music booking to a reputable company.

We want to book your live music at your restaurant or bar. Contact us if you would like to learn more about our automatic live music scheduling.

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