There is little doubt that running a restaurant is a stressful business. Not only do you have to deal with the day to day practicalities of running a small business, you also have to find new and exciting ways to stand out in a sector that is seemingly becoming more competitive every single year – many cities and towns are now becoming increasingly driven opening new bars and restaurants, rather than stores and shops.
One way that you can make your business more unique, and attract new clients, is by harnessing the power of live entertainment.
More and more restaurants, cafes and bistros are now looking to book live music, in the name of providing their dinners with a whole new experience, and give them a great reason to keep coming back. In this blog, we at Last Minute Musicians will examine of a couple of the classic options for live entertainment to book for your restaurant.
Of course, there are many factors that will ultimately determine the time of entertainment that you book. You should always keep in mind the style and atmosphere of your establishment, as well the more practical concerns, like the available space and potential noise restrictions.
It is also important to check that you have the relevant license for putting on live music, such as the UK’s PRS license.
Acoustic Guitarist/ Singer
If you’re looking for some really flexible entertainment that would be both suitable over dinner and perhaps even tempt a few dinners into staying around for a drink or two afterwards, acoustic guitarists have an incredibly flexible repertoire.
They’ll work really well playing softer numbers in the background of a meal, facilitating conversation between guests, but can equally step up and take more of a focus later in the evening, with a more up-beat set that might even encourage some dancing on the tabletops!
Acoustic musicians are also able to manage their volume levels much more effectively than large bands. This can work really well for inner-city restaurants, that have neighbours or potentially even residents nearby.
Expect to hear: Modern pop from the likes of Ed Sheeran Coldplay and Taylor Swift, as well as acoustic classics from the likes of The Beatles, Elvis and Van Morrison.
Jazz Piano Players
A classic source of entertainment for restaurants for decades, putting on a jazz musician during your dinner service can help radiate class, and really set your venues up as the type of place dinners want to visit. Jazz has always been a classic go-to genre for dinner music, and, for a lot of dinners, there will be nothing better than listening to some live jazz over dinner. Whether it’s the wonderful music of Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans or Herbie Hancock, many jazz piano players have a variety of styles that will appeal.
Whether you have a piano in your venue or not, you can still book a musician to perform, as many solo jazz pianists will be more than happy to provide their own equipment. That said, if you’re looking to put on music on a regular basis, or even secure a musician for a residency, then perhaps looking into investing in a piano for your venue wouldn’t be a bad idea, as it also adds a very charming aesthetic.
There are generally two types of jazz piano player. Some performers will also sing and perform a set of pop-jazz tunes by the likes of Norah Jones, Gregory Porter and Jamie Cullum. Others will elect to perform entirely instrumentally, and usually stick to what are known as “jazz standards”.
Expect to hear: Jazz pop from the likes of Jamie Cullum or Norah Jones. Jazz standards like “Autumn Leaves” “Fly Me To The Moon” or “All Of Me”.
If you’re looking to tap into some of the most modern trends in popular culture, then plenty of businesses, both new and old, are looking to the popularity of television shows like the BBC’s Peaky Blinders or HBO’s Boardwalk Empire for inspiration. This can take many forms, with some restaurants looking to put on 1920s or 1930s themed nights, decorating their venues and encouraging their customers to dress in accordance with the style. Lots of new entrepreneurs are also starting new businesses with an entirely vintage theme and decor.
Whatever the occasion, it is perfectly possible to book amazing vintage singers to reflect this theme and put on an excellent night of entertainment. These singers can take many forms. Some will play an instrument, like the piano or acoustic guitar. Others may sing to backing tracks or even provide a small band if you have the space! Often, vintage acts will also dress the part, just to add to the amazing atmosphere of your event.
Vintage singers will sometimes pickup on some modern acts that are inspired by the past, like Meghan Trainor or Imelda May. Alternatively, they might take other modern pop or chart music, and play it in a vintage style.
Expect to hear: Modern pop played in a vintage style. Music from various decades like the 1930s or 1920s, depending on the act’s specialty. Music from vintage inspired acts, like Imelda May.
Why let music venues have all the fun? Tribute nights have become incredibly popular in all sorts of venues, from hotels to restaurants. While this will depend a little on the space available in your restaurant, tribute artists are a great way to appeal to a mass audience. A popular tribute to, say, Frank Sinatra can bring out a great audience.
Whether you are offering a performance over dinner, or perhaps even a ticketed option for both dinner and a separate performance, booking a great tribute can be a fantastic way to increase the profitability of your restaurant.
Expect to hear: The classic hits of whatever tribute artist you book!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Last Minute Musicians, we wish you the best of luck and continued success for your business. Whether you’re booking for a restaurant, or in any other circumstance, browse through over 3300 acts currently on the Last Minute Musicians entertainment directory to find the perfect act for your event.