What is sonic seasoning?


What is sonic seasoning?

sound of the sea dish

What is sonic seasoning?

We know of the main components that make up a great guest experience: the quality of food and drink, the service, the environment, the price. If we get dish specific, it’s the taste, smell, sight and even touch as you feel the texture of food chewing over in your mouth. Get these four senses right, as well as the external factors, and you’ve created the ultimate guest experience, right? Have you ever considered the fifth sense - sound? It turns out that the music you play in your restaurant could be having a far bigger impact on your dining experience than you realised.

Introducing Sonic Seasoning. Adding levels of up to 15% of sweet, salty, sour and spicy notes to your dishes, low frequency sounds are said to add a bitterness to food, with higher frequencies bringing the sweetness. Imagine if music could replace sugar… literally music to the ears of health-conscious guests. And there are reports that Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream might provide just this by simply adding QR codes on tubs to compliment each flavour, enhancing the experience.

When it comes to restaurants, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, The Fat Duck was one of the first restaurants to experiment with sensory experiences. His signature ‘Sound of the Sea’ dish is a great example of sonic seasoning, which sees guests eat seafood whilst listening to crashing waves through an iPod disguised in a shell! And it’s not just fine dining restaurants jumping on this concept. McDonalds in Sweden has actually teamed up with Spotify to help improve fast food dining. Fingers crossed this is something we see rolled out to the UK.

Sonic seasoning literally takes the guest experience to a whole new level. But you don’t have to go full on multi-sensory like Heston Blumenthal. Operators could host ‘Sonic Sundays’ for example, a set menu would be required but it would certainly set you apart from your competitors, attracting guests on the hunt for unique experiences.

Fizz pop bang

Not only can sound affect the dining experience in this way, it can also hugely impact restaurant and food marketing. Many companies are replacing background music on their adverts with the sound of food and drink, just before and during consumption. The crunchier a crisp, noisier a crisp packet, and even giving a carbonated drink extra fizz by pouring it into a glass full of ice-cubes, means consumers associate it with being fresher. Hearing the snap of a biscuit, or the pop of a can is responsible for 60% of your craving, making it just as important as your branding and message.

So, will you give sonic seasoning a go? Do you need to review your promotions? To discover what your guests think about your guest experience, get in touch today on 01225 470999 or email enquiries@hgem.com to speak with our new business team.

Back to Blog