Let’s say you want to expand your eating area and
incorporate a patio or deck. Outside restaurant furniture is an essential, of
course, but what else can you do to bring some life to the setup? Music is a
natural choice, whether live or recorded, and is fairly easy to add.
What Do You Need for Live Music?
At the most basic level, you will need an area where your
band can set up. Many small restaurants feature local bands on a rotating
basis, bringing in new talent every week or two. A small stage area is perfect,
and if made up of several smaller boxes which are fastened together, is easily
stored. A source of electricity is also necessary.
Once you move beyond those essentials you can invite all
sorts of musicians, even those who don’t have a setup that will accommodate
your venue. A PA system is very useful and should come with a power amp, a
soundboard and some speakers. Microphones, wired or wireless, are a boon as
well. All this might sound expensive, but rarely involves more than a few
hundred dollars investment.
Lights, backdrops and other such special touches can
certainly wait until you are certain that you want to continue presenting this
What About Pre-Recorded Sound?
What if you don’t want to fuss with bands? People can be
flighty. Guests who expect live music and don’t get it can be upset. Not all
your guests will like the same type of music. That doesn’t mean you have to
stay silent. The right music can go a
long way to setting ambiance and tone in the dining space.
This setup requires less by way of staging, but a bit more
in the way of electronics. You will definitely need properly spaced speakers
and related wiring. If you are reasonably handy, and you have a drop ceiling,
you might be able to manage, however in most cases you will need to involve an
electrician. You don’t want your wires to dangle all over the place, nor do you
want to run the risk of an electrical problem.
Thankfully, neither a good CD player nor a reasonable set of
speakers costs all that much. For outdoors, you should consider all-weather
speakers, or plan to keep your equipment under cover at all times.
Creating a Cohesive Look
When you choose to take the leap and include music,
especially in an outdoor venue, you have to match your look and sound. Café
tables and chairs are perfect if you feature jazz, blues or easy listening.
Calypso or Reggae is a perfect match for a patio with an island theme. You get
No matter what music
you play, live or recorded, keep in mind that people are in your restaurant to
dine, talk and enjoy each other’s company. Keep an eye on the volume so the
music never overpowers the rest of the experience.