Drink Up: Why Bar Music Is So Damn Loud
Bar music is often so loud that you can't hear yourself think – let alone, hear others talk. The music starts off modest and slowly the volume goes up. It's a wall of sound. You're yelling at your friend. They're yelling back at you. Soon enough, the bar gets louder and more rowdy. It's the signal that the party has begun.
Contrary to what your eardrums may think, this common practice is actually good business sense.
The louder the music gets, the more people give up trying to chit-chat and focus on lacing up their drinking shoes. The beer goes down faster. More trips get made to the bar. Waiters get more tips. Everyone wins, sort of. Except you.
People sitting around nursing their drinks aren't good for profits. From the perspective of a bar owner, talkers aren't the best beer drinkers.
So how do you quiet down even the loudest of fellows?
Turn up the noise.
A number of field studies conducted in France have found that higher sound levels lead to people drinking more. On average, a bar-goers took 14.5 minutes to finish a 8 oz glass of drought beer when the volume was at its normal level.
However, once the music got turned up, this time reduced to just 11.5 minutes.
As a result, on average, these drinkers ordered one more beer in the loud music condition than in the normal one. This correlation between loud music and increased alcohol consumption is casual, but it's quite still persuasive.
It makes you think though. Was your last night out – likely on New Years – in a noisy bar as fun as you remembered? Or, did it merely result in fun, because the louder music caused you to give up talking to friends and you drink more beer?
What's your opinion?