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Sound Design for Your Coffee Shop or Restaurant
Team Offbeat | 13 Mar

At Offbeat Creative, we appreciate the importance of sound and the impact it can have on the overall atmosphere of your establishment. Often just as impactful as the interior design, sound can make or break your coffee shop ambience. Here are some soundtracking considerations.

Soundscaping can form an immersive environment. Alongside menus, interiors and uniforms, music should be considered in the same detail. Whether it’s chilled, classical vibes for a laidback coffee shop or Spanish guitar melodies for an upbeat tapas bar, incorporate music to help create a welcoming tone and to set your coffee shop apart from the competition in the currently saturated casual dining market.

A company who have realised a gap in the market for soundtracking restaurants is Playlister, founded by Dan Lywood and Ben Bridgewater. From La Bodega Negra to Chiltern Firehouse, the pair are responsible for creating successful soundscapes to help convey the right mood for any particular restaurant or bar. They admit, “For us, it’s about how the music makes you feel,” and we couldn’t agree more.

To curate a successful soundtrack for your coffee shop, begin by moodboarding thoughts and ideas. Consider your brand concept, ethos and values and how these can be reflected through the music to create just the right amount of ambience. Think of the soundtrack as part of your overall marketing strategy, using it as a way to help translate your unique brand personality and aesthetic. With the luxury and vastness of instant streaming, using the likes of Spotify, it’s relatively simple to build a unique and custom soundtrack – there is absolutely nothing stopping you!

Lastly, be mindful of volume, it may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by how many establishments get this wrong. The idea is to play music loud enough to be heard yet not too loud that it becomes overpowering and interrupts conversation. Additionally, consider the time of day or night and adjust it accordingly. For example, in the morning you may want something slow and organic which later transitions into something more uptempo. Be aware of your customers’ sensibilities and listen to their feedback – nobody wants to be bombarded with heavy metal at 8am!

By Charlotte Anderson

Opening a coffee shop or restaurant and need advice on brand or interior design? Let’s discuss your concept at or call 020 7060 3121