This is a proposal for a study about how background music affect the behaviour of customers in a hotel. The study involves customers dining in a hotel and it aimed at investigating how background music played in a hotel influences the amount of money spent and time spent dining. The customers will be studied unaware. This study shown that the amount of money customers spent when the music played was slow was much more than the money they spent when the music played was fast. They were also seen to spend more time at their dining tables. According to Clare and Sally (1999) there has been a growing interest in atmospherics among many service providers since it improves the service environment and affect the behaviour of customers. This study hypothesizes that customers in a hotel tend to spend more time dining and also spend a substantial amount of money when the music is slow.
Bruner (1990) observed that music is a complex chemistry of controllable elements and that it can vary along certain dimensions such as rhythm, volume, and the speed. Bruner found out that people attached some meaning to music and also music that was used in marketing activities induced behavioral responses in customers. Milliman (1986) carried out a study that showed that the speed of background music had an impact on the time that most people spent in a hotel. When the background music was fast the customers spent less time at the restaurant and when the music was slow the customers spent more time dining. Milliman discovered that there was a great difference between a situation where classical music was played and a situation where there was no music. When this music played in the background, those in the hotel were observed to spend more time and money. The result of his study indicated that owners of restaurants could use this type of music to increase the amount that customers spend.
North and Hargreaves (1996) in their study on “The effect of music on perceived atmosphere and purchase intentions in a restaurant” observed that various types of music played at the hotel had diverse impact on the supposed atmosphere and on the amount of money customers were to spend. When classic, pop and jazz music were played, customers were seen to use more money than when there was no music. Kim and Areni (1993) found out that music influenced wine shoppers to spend more money at the store. They also discovered that when wine stores played classical music in the background, the customers did not increase the amount of wine bottles they purchased but instead they purchased more expensive wine.
Clare and Sally (1999) carried out a study on “the effect of music tempo on consumer behaviour” and they found out that when the tempo of the music played in the background was slow, customers were observed to spend more time dining and they were also seen to spend more money. When the music playing in the background was fast, customers spent less time at their tables and they also spent less money. Yalch and Spangenberg (1990) compared the effect of foreground and background music on cloth shoppers. They found out that playing music in order to satisfy the preferences of shoppers was not the optimal way but instead playing varied music to different aged customers was a better approach.
This study aims at investigating how background music affect the behaviour of customers in a hotel. The study was carried out in a hotel in town and it was found out that when cool music played at the hotel most customers spent more time at the hotel whereas when fast music played customers were seen to leave the hotel after a very short stay and they were also observed to spend less money. In their study Clare and Sally (1999) also concluded that when the music played was slow customers spent more time at the restaurant and they used more money than when fast music played.
The proposed study is a field observation of customers in a hotel down town. The researcher chose to study the behaviour of customers who were seated on the first four tables in the restaurant. The observations were made on sixteen different customers who occupied the four tables. During the morning hours and the evening hours the background music that played was slow while during the afternoons the music played was fast.
The data was collected by means of observation of the behaviour of customers at the hotel. The researcher observed and recorded the time which the customers spent on their tables dining and the amount they spent on the foods and drinks. This study was carried out during the morning hours from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m., in the afternoon from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. and in the evening from 8:00 -9:30 p.m. This study was carried out for a period of one month in a single hotel.
This section will discuss the limitations of this study and the considerations for future studies. There are various limitations associated with this study which provide a room for further research to provide more comprehensive results on the relationship between background music and the behaviour of customers in a hotel. The first limitation is that data was only gathered from customers in only one hotel. The effect of this is the generalization of the results of the study. The other limitation is that only those customers who sat at the first four tables in the hotel were observed. The problem arises because their behaviour may highly differ with the behaviour of those who were seated in other tables at the hotel. The other limitation concerned the issue of time whereby the study was only done for one month. This may result to insufficient data that is used to make findings and determine the results.
In future I would like to carry out the study in more than one restaurants, observe customers randomly and even get to interview them or issue them with questionnaires because I believe that this would provide me with more information and I would rely less on my own assumptions. I also would like to carry out the study for a longer period of time so as to gather enough and necessary data. I also would like to observe the customers for more than one and a half hours.
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