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Reopening in Hospitality: A Simplified Guide to Music & Entertainment

Reopening in Hospitality: A Simplified Guide to Music & Entertainment

Written by

James Picken


July 8, 2020



As operators in hospitality, we know your top priority right now is to keep your customers and employees safe, and rightly so.

But it’s also more important than ever to nail your atmosphere in a way that will draw people in, put customers at ease with an enjoyable environment, and encourage them to return. Enter Startle.

We’re here to simplify government advice on music and entertainment in restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes, helping you to make sure your atmosphere hits the right note.

Gov advice - What’s the deal?

Here's what they're saying...

Live entertainment:

“Venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience.”

Our advice:

Sadly, this means no DJs, no karaoke, no hosted quizzes and no open mics. But the good news is that you can still use background music and app-based entertainment to your advantage. Music is extremely powerful in influencing people’s behaviour and emotions, so creating a positive buzz with the vibrance and familiarity of music will help you give your customers all the good vibes. App-based quizzes can entertain guests at their tables without the need for a host or distributing pens and paper.

Football matches

“Once you have considered and taken account of the safety steps and have satisfied yourself that it is safe to screen football matches, you can do so.”

Our advice:

As long as you’re following the guidance on the relevant areas - low volume, distancing, no standing etc. - you can still show live sport. This is great news for venues such as pubs and bars, whose sport offering is often a key attraction. Remember to let customers know which matches you’ll be showing, as well as the measures you’re taking to make it a safe place to watch. Consider exploring out-of-the-box ways to engage customers with sporting events, such as app-based games and interaction.

Music volume

“All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission, particularly from aerosol transmission.”

Our advice:

We’re always badgering on about the need to get your music volume right - it can really make or break an experience. But in line with the ‘say it, don’t spray it’ (lovely) precautions, it’s best to keep the volume low during this time. It should be audible, enough to create an atmosphere, without causing people to raise their voices. With lower audio volumes, audio quality, speaker quality and speaker placement will be more important than ever. Upgrades here don’t need to break the bank. Using a good music supplier, checking cables and connections and replacing the odd speaker can be a very cost-effective way to handle dead spots or address unwanted distortion.

Hey, we've just met you and this is crazy. But here's our number +44 (0)203 397 7676. So, call us maybe? Or get in touch here.

Reopening in Hospitality: A Simplified Guide to Music & Entertainment

James Picken

Creative Director at Startle. It's my job to produce and execute our music output, making sure everything is sounding, feeling and performing just right for our customers. When I'm not doing this, you can find me either walking my dog, remixing 90s divas on Logic Pro X, returning overdue library books or throwing weights about in the gym.

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Hey, we've just met you and this is crazy. But here's our number +44 (0)203 397 7676. So, call us maybe?

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