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The Breakfast Club: how music creates the feel-good atmosphere for its staff & customers

About The Breakfast Club

In 2005, a life-long dream became reality. Quietly and without fanfare, two childhood friends opened the sort of café they wanted to see – one where everyone knew everybody’s name. An intimate joint which placed emphasis on how its customers felt, in addition to what they ate and drank, though still a crucial part of the mix. Now an all-day café and bar business (yup, it’s not just about breakfasts anymore), The Breakfast Club is thriving with 18 branches.

With such a diverse spread of locations, finding the right music to play was a task that needed serious consideration. That’s when they called on Ambie.

We chatted to Jonathan Arana-Morton, its Co-Founder, about how the business had to navigate its way through the recent choppy waters of Covid-19, and what role music has played in that journey. 

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The Breakfast Club

Take a listen to The Breakfast Club’s playlist

The Challenge

In a business where so much thought and passion goes into every step of the guest experience, it’s safe to say that music will play an integral role in ensuring the perfect ambiance and atmosphere. The music has to bring out that feel-good vibe, some-what relaxed and engaging. As Jonathan points out, “music sets the tone, the perception, and creates the atmosphere. Very few elements of your restaurant set the tone quite like the music.”

Music sets the tone, the perception, and creates the atmosphere. Very few elements of your restaurant set the tone quite like the music.

But it’s not always so simple to achieve this, and that’s without the added complications and uncertainties of the recent global pandemic. Like most other businesses, it’s been a case of head down, hard work, trying to weather the storm, day by day. The focus and time spent keeping the music fresh and creating playlists was in short supply, especially when it’s unclear how many customers you’ll be serving, or under what conditions and restrictions. 

Music impacts not only the customers but the front-end and back-end staff too, who also have many plates in the air spinning (sometimes quite literally). The hardworking staff of The Breakfast Club aren’t all music experts – if they hear music they like, they probably sing along but don’t give the music system much thought, and that’s understandable. However, it’s only when the music isn’t quite right that it gets noticed. So, it’s clear that the music choice and system, plus the automation has to be tailored to the needs of the business and its staff.

The Solution

Enters Ambie, the first (and only) music solution that The Breakfast Club needed! We worked with the team to create a simple solution which scheduled curated, on-brand playlists of music which underpinned that homely, feel-good atmosphere to perfectly match the aim of the business. Ambie enabled a centralised control of music, tailored and dynamic, that’s always fresh and always right for the moment.

For Jonathan and his Restaurant Managers, the biggest benefit was the peace of mind about what was being played all around the business. Music is at the front and center of all its operation, so it needs to be chosen carefully, and on brand.

Finally, we asked, what is the best thing about the Ambie solution? “Less time worrying what I was going to walk into in one of my restaurants”. His final comment says it all. “It’s all just very , very good, thank you!”

The Take-aways

The Breakfast Club do takeaways, but that’s not quite what we mean here. What can we learn from The Breakfast Club, their unique story, their love for good food and of course, good music?

  • The guest experience is crucial – everything else feeds into it, so whether its food, décor, staff service or music, the multi-layered experience elements need to be firing on all cylinders, all of the time. 
  • Remember that music affects staff arguably most of all – a music system has to be easy to use, reliable and tailored to your business ethos.
  • Any time saved means money saved. That goes for time spent choosing and scheduling music too. When done effectively and efficiently, there’s more time to focus on your customers and their overall experience.
  • Above all, remember that ‘today is going to be a good day’. Yes, this is the motto of The Breakfast Club, and one that highlights an industry-leading community programme that they’re particularly proud of. And finally, it illuminates what happens when you mix great food, unique atmosphere – and perfect music – a good day!

If you’d like to know more about how Ambie could help your business and create your desired atmosphere, talk to our team.

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