The 20th century Mediterranean tradition of coffee shops being a wonderful location for reunions is rapidly becoming popular. This popularization can be attributed to Starbucks, but it is the small coffee shops across the nation that cemented it in this culture.
Coffee shops are no longer just locations to drink coffee, they have become sanctuaries to relax, talk, work and just be. Owing to this, there are two essential elements for a coffee shop: the coffee and the ambience. Various studies have found that playing in-house music set to a carefully considered tempo, volume, genre, and valence can influence behaviour and decision making.
Reports also have it that music at a slower tempo encourages customers to linger and spend more money. Conversely, fast-paced music led to a quicker exit. Most coffee customers want the genre of music to “fit” the context. By playing music that complements other elements of a coffee establishment, customers will value your efforts and be willing to spend more money.
A coffee shop is largely memorable and enjoyable because of its particular ambiance. The way each shop piques the senses and emotions helps indicate the overall atmosphere. The taste of the coffee, the kindness of a server, and the aesthetics of the room all should translate to a cohesive brand.
Note that there is no one size fits all when talking about coffeehouse music but there are some basic guidelines to help you choose. Coffee shop music should be entertaining enough to distract those who are not doing anything, but light enough to let those who are doing things concentrate and not be bothered by it.
Also, at the end of the day, coffee shops are a part of the community and the music should reflect it. Note that it is not really about trying to stand out, but instead about creating the perfect atmosphere. Now that the benefits of overhead music are abundantly clear, it is time to dive into the type of music you should play in your coffeehouse.
Picking the Right Music for Your Coffee House
Even though there are many factors to consider when selecting your coffeehouse playlist, the style of music you play is paramount to success. Nonetheless, here are most common genres that are best suited for java-fuelled overhead listening.
Peaceful piano ballads, lush symphonies, relaxing instrumentals! Popular artists/bands: Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Brahms, Debussy, Khatia Buniatishvili, Yo – Yo Ma, Glenn Gould, Isaac Stern
Anything from Americana and acoustic to folk – rock and alternative styles! Popular artists/bands: Amos Lee, Iron & Wine, Mumford & Sons, Xavier Rudd, Bon Iver, The Head and the Heart, Joshua Radin
Classics of the 1920’s swing era to contemporary songs of the 2000’s. Popular artists/bands: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Sade, Kenny G, Dexter Gordon,
Low – to – moderate tempo music characterized by mellow vocals or ambient sounds. Popular artists/ bands: Air, Bonobo, Royksopp, Massive Attack, Jon Hopkins, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Flying Lotus, M83, Tycho, Washed Out, Sigur Ros
Psychedelic rock, funk, soul, and pop tunes of the 1960’s and 1970’s! Popular artists/bands: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Supremes, Led Zeppelin, The Ventures, The Rolling Stones
Blending elements of conventional rock with influences from other musical styles! Popular artists/bands: Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Foster the People, Cold War Kids, Young the Giant, Arcade Fire, Grouplove, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie
What is the Best Pandora Station for Coffee Shops?
Let’s assume you already have the coffee part covered, but you are looking to make sure that your ambience is spot on by getting the most from your coffee shop’s music. Here are top Pandora stations to consider.
Calming Instrumental Covers
These gentle, minimal covers hit on all the songs you know and love. From soft rock favourites to modern classics, this playlist easily accessible on Pandora and Spotify is the perfect mix of old and new. There are 100 songs on this playlist so you can work for hours without having to listen to the same songs over and over again.
Hip Hop & Jazz Instrumentals
This station boost of songs with a nice jazz element as well as a funky little beat at the same time. It is upbeat and smooth for when you feel like going with the flow, but still need those positive vibes.
Today’s Top Hits
Today’s Top Hits is a great one if you are looking for something you can mindlessly play in the background. It is familiar enough for your customers to hum along and enjoy the music, with the added bonus of being easily tuned out so you can get to work.
Cinematic Music For Studying and Motivation
Soundtracks from all the latest movies are added to this playlist frequently. Note that they include beautiful ballads and conflict arrangements that have no lyrics and put your customers into the right frame of mind when relaxing. They can also play a game where they guess what movies the songs are from.
Chill Out Radio
This is one of the best Pandora stations for a stressful, busy day. These tunes help your customers breathe and enjoy the taste of their coffee. The soothing sounds are exactly what you need to power through when you want to give you shop that chilling atmosphere.
Instrumental Hip Hop
Much like the previous station, this Pandora station has the hip – hop beat and music without the lyrical hype. It is a great way to stay focused while keeping your customers mood positive. It might just be the perfect coffee playlist.
This playlist includes music from Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Toots & the Maytals along with many more. Reggae music is wonderful and can be a boost of positivity especially when you want things to get a little crazy. It is also a great way to chill and relax on a Friday after a long productive week.
For the days when you just need your customers to mellow out and work, Pandora and Spotify has the Mellow Classics. You will recognize every song on this list without getting distracted from your workflow. You might even find yourself humming along with the songs as you work away. Who doesn’t love Fleetwood Mac, Otis Redding, and Etta James It is called the classic for a reason; every single song is a must-listen.
Choose music that matches the emotional descriptions of your coffee brand. The music playing in the background at your coffee shop has an effect on people’s mood and even their decisions. You want your customers to have a positive, memorable experience and music can have an influence on this. Be conscious of the music you are choosing for your restaurant and of course, make sure the songs you are playing are legally sound as well.