How to Source Curated Music for Your Business: Getting Started

Savvy hospitality businesses know that the right music sets the mood for the rest of the guest experience. Beyond creating your atmosphere, it forges a connection between your business, guests, and culture. And of course, good music sells more food, drinks, and services, too. Conversely, bad music can drive guests away, never to return. We don’t like that.

In other words, having a well-thought-out plan for your hotel, restaurant, or other hospitality business’s music strategy is crucial to its long-term success. Below are the different things to consider when planning how to source curated music for your business, step by step. Let’s jump in! (And be sure to join our mailing list to be the first to get our latest playlists!)

What's your current setup?

Start by thinking about how you’re currently working with music in your business. Are you streaming from Spotify? Have an old hardware provider? Is your staff making playlists in their free time? Create a short overview of your current setup.

Next, write out your goals. What do you want to improve? Both technically in terms of hardware and software, as well as in the desired atmosphere you want to create.

What's the vibe like? 


That brings us to the atmosphere, vibe, or energy. When thinking about the atmosphere you want to create, consider all the factors that inform your brand and guest experience: Your geographic location, clientele demographics, interior design, et cetera. All of these factors should also inform your space’s musical experience. Like any creative project, it’s useful to return to these guidelines from time to time.

Once you have these mapped out, write out a list of how you want your guests to feel: Comfortable? Relaxed? Excited? Adventurous? The more specific the better.

After this, put together a playlist of songs that represent these emotions and parameters. This can work as a reference for your business’s music curation.

What are the stakeholders' expectations?

It’s also important to consider who should be involved in the process. Too many cooks in the musical kitchen is never a good thing, but make sure those who need to approve are involved. This might be the owner, general manager, or someone involved in managing the guest experience.

Ask these people what their goals are with your music programming. Their notes and suggestions should also inform your decision.

And remember, the last stakeholder is always the guest, so keep them in mind when making decisions.

How will you delight your guests?


Let’s focus on your guests next. How can you use music to go beyond meeting their expectations and delight them?

No matter what kind of business you operate, your guests have specific tastes and opinions. How can you appeal to the diversity in their musical tastes while creating a unified brand experience in your space?

This will take what you’ve done in the previous steps and test it. Listen back to that playlist you made. Would your guests actually enjoy it? It can be helpful here to get external input. Share with some trusted music fans in your organization for feedback if needed.

This is where a lot of curatorial expertise and magic touch comes in. Of course, we’re happy to help! If curious get in touch. 😉

Space & Time


Two of the most important factors in mapping out your background music needs are space and time.

What spaces will need music in your business? A restaurant will likely require different music than a  lobby, pool bar, or retail shop. If you have multiple spaces in your business, write out how they will differ.

Next, address scheduling. What are your hours of operation? What will the flow of energy be like? Brunch is a different mood than a late-night cocktail hour or mid-week spa session.

Consider the activity and energy level in each of your spaces throughout your hours of operations.

Not sure where to start? Click here to get a free 30-minute consultation with our curation team.

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