What difference does music make in a restaurant? DJs, sound experts weigh in...

Kelly McDevitt, of City Group Hospitality, said that softer textures catch sound, like foam backing on bar chairs, table linens, insulation in the ceiling and wall treatments.

Kelly McDevitt, the director of marketing for City Group Hospitality, said people generally gravitate toward the “hustle and bustle” of the restaurant experience. 

City Group Hospitality is a restaurant group that owns various restaurants in Baton Rouge, including Spoke & Hub, Proverbial Wine Bistro, City Pork, Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine, Rouj Creole and City Slice Pints + Pizza.

“Overall, it almost seems like you need to have a little energy to welcome in and be part of the experience that we’re serving up,” McDevitt said over a high-top table in the newly opened Spoke & Hub in Mid City.

She said music is something that Stephen Hightower, managing partner of City Group Hospitality, always considers in the creation and architectural phases. The genre of music played is reflective of the ambiance in a City Group restaurant. For example, McDevitt said the brand at Beausoleil is buttoned up and mellow, whereas Spoke & Hub is comfortable and fun. 

“At Beausoleil, it probably wouldn't be appropriate to play ‘Funky Town,’” McDevitt said, “but here [Spoke & Hub], we have fun desserts, fun drinks, we have a speakeasy. It’s kind of like, ‘Give yourself that comfort food, and who cares?’” 

Architectural tools help control sound and buffer echoes. McDevitt explained that softer textures absorb sound and can improve acoustics, like foam backing on bar chairs, table linens and even insulation in the ceiling — and even textured wall treatments and other decor. Layers can also bounce, muffle or catch sound in a restaurant, including treatments on the under sides of seats.

Despite the sensory feast of dining, the food is what truly matters when all the glitter and gold are gone. 

“It’s the fabric that stitches us all together,” McDevitt said. 

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