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The Rum Kitchen: Using music to drive spend

We interviewed Mike Parnham, Managing Director of Rum Kitchen, to find out why they chose Ambie and how they use music to drive customer spend. 

Can you please briefly explain the Rum Kitchen’s mission and customers?

The RK mission statement is “to be more carnival.” When you think about Carnival it is a sensory experience which evokes celebration and positivity. It is the ultimate feeling of coming together. Our guests are like Carnival revelers: no matter who you are you can participate in whatever way you want: it’s all about being inclusive and not exclusive.

How do you believe music makes a difference to the Rum Kitchen, and to the customer experience?

We focus on the music just as much as we do on the food and cocktails. Our soundtrack is the heartbeat of any service and lets you know what the vibe is on any given day or time. The right music is able to create an atmosphere that lifts the mood of the team and guests, increases dwell-time and is what sets us apart from other restaurants and bars.

Before Ambie, what challenges were you facing with your music?

One wrong song is the equivalent of turning up the lights halfway through the night, it just ruins everything. Previous platforms have offered poor curation of playlists or provided no visibility or control across the group.

Why did you switch to Ambie?

I switched in the first place because it was so simple and hassle free but after using it you then realise how great it is.

What differences have you noticed since switching to Ambie?

You can actually see how much the team enjoy listening to the music, even when they are out of service they have it on, I’ve never seen this before. I think it’s because now we have access to a range of music that really reflects our carnival influence. Ambie is so easy to use and I think this is so important with team engagement. 

How have you tracked the impact of Ambie on your business? 

Over the past 3 years our LFL sales have been ahead of the London benchmark and one reason is definitely the music, its helped to create an atmosphere where people will stay for one more drink. One of the best feedbacks we receive on a regular basis is that the music was so good that they forgot there wasn’t a DJ, this also saves us money on that having to have DJs all the time.

How have you tailored Ambie to your brand, and trading patterns?

We have tailored the music so it feels as though a DJ is playing all day. Our teams and DJs have all had input into the playlists and they reflect the day part and the music our customers love to hear. The playlists are the same across the restaurants but they get used very differently, we encourage our managers to control the music and let it reflect what the customers would like at that moment. This of course changes throughout the day but the mix of playlists means we always have the right music.

What might you recommend Ambie for?

I always recommend Ambie to brands where you can see how much they love music and how important it is to building great atmosphere.

And finally, is there a particular song/playlist you’re loving at the moment?

Coming out of lockdown Im loving the Soca playlist at the moment, it certainly adds energy to the days as we prepare to reopen.

Thanks to Mike Parnham and the team at Rum Kitchen for answering our questions! 

Rum Kitchen is now open for great food, drinks and of course, awesome music – you can find out more here: https://www.therumkitchen.com/

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