“On a beau l’aimer plus que tout En devenir fou”

“On a Beau” by Diane Tell

This song complemented our bistro’s setting.

Dining out should impact our senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Whether it’s the dining room, bar, or bistro, background music helps set the ambience, character, or vibe/mood.

Understand the copyright licences for public performance

Making sure the necessary licensing to comply with copyright statutes before playing any music is necessary. Performing rights organizations (PROs) act as intermediaries between restaurants and songwriters to protect intellectual property and make licensing more cost-effective and convenient.

A SOCAN licence in Canada gives businesses the freedom and flexibility to use virtually any music they use in their businesses or at their public events – legally, ethically, and easily. 

What kind of mood was I after?

The dining room

The room had already established a tranquil atmosphere with the plants, water, high ceiling, and skylights, and I wanted the background music to carry on the laid-back ambience it established.

Classical music, such as Pachabel’s Canon, fit the bill along with some light jazz. It added to the escapism already alluded to in a previous post.

The bar/lounge

The bar/lounge required more energy in its music selection. The songs we played from lunch through to early evening had a little more tempo than the dining room but were still conducive to relaxing conversation.

I was fortunate to employ two bartenders – a couple of young brothers from Philadelphia – and I allowed them some free rein to create the music selection for the evening. They played a range that included Walking on The Moon by The Police to songs by Frank Sinatra. They could get carried away at times, but they knew when they had pushed the envelope. Even so, they were classy guys.

The bar’s music selection picked up tempo as the night progressed. As the bar got busier, the music got louder. Although never too loud. We didn’t want our patrons to have to yell at each other while still creating a party atmosphere.

I’m not sure if it was the music, the room, or the staff, but our patrons were generally a bit older and mature. Mission accomplished.

The bistro

Diane Tell’s “On a Beau” was a perfect song for our bistro that served fresh pasta in a quaint setting. I associated this song with a European cafe.

Music is personal so don’t get carried away

Be cautious with music because it affects all patrons equally. Although it can be a great enhancement, it can also deter from the dining out experience that is being sought.

On a side note, working in a busy restaurant kitchen can be a real buzz and Flight of the Bumblebee is a fitting song to match this setting.