How Bars Use Music To Get You Drunk Faster

Do you drink your booze faster when you're out at a bar or a restaurant than you do just sitting at home? You probably do, and apparently it's because bars and restaurants have learned that loud, fast music makes you eat and drink more, at a faster rate.

Here's a quote from a New York Times piece on the subject:

In 1985, a study by Fairfield University in Connecticut reported that people ate faster when background music was sped up, from 3.83 to 4.4 bites per minute. Nicolas Gueguen, a professor of behavioural sciences at the Université de Bretagne-Sud in France, reported in the October 2008 edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research that higher volumes led beer drinkers in a bar to imbibe more. When the bar's music was 72 decibels, people ordered an average of 2.6 drinks and took 14.5 minutes to finish one. But when the volume was turned up to 88 decibels, customers ordered an average of 3.4 drinks and took 11.5 minutes to finish each one.

That's a pretty massive increase. And it's sort of logical, too, right? You're less likely to sit there nursing a whiskey when there's fast and loud music booming through the place than you would be listening to a country ballad or something. [NY Times via Animal New York]

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    As for the loud, it certainly seems to me that that's because it's harder to talk to people and easier to drink. I really like it when they're playing nice tunes at a bar, but I dislike that usually you can only chat to the person directly adjacent because the music is really loud and, of course, so is everyone else.

    Although personally, this just makes me go to bars far less and opt for catching up at a friend's house instead.

      This is my thinking as well- It's harder to talk so you drink instead... Or just stop going to noisy pubs all together. :)
      SO good for those stupid pub owners, chasing away clientel. At least they can milk those they do have just a little bit harder...

    I would have to disagree with this study. I DJ quiet often at bars and clubs and depending on the time of the night will determine the music. Slower house ect will get people drinking at the bar earlier on in the night, as the night progresses you are building the music for the main act/headline so everyone is quite drunk and will keep dancing and drinking. No one wants to turn up to a bar or club at 10pm with heavy music blaring or a bpm over 128 no one will dance and they will find somewhere more relaxed to start the night.. The reason for it being so loud earlier is because of the ammount of people in the club, the music needs to drown out the "croud" noise.

    Not sure how clubs operate in different states/countrys but thats how its always been here.

    Increasing the BPM earlier will make you lose club goer's not get them drinking faster.

      I also DJ quite regulary and agree with you. The louder the music, the less of the crowd you can hear. I think it more depends on the tracks themselves that make people either drink more or less, there's an emotional connection to it.

      " No one wants to turn up to a bar or club at 10pm with heavy music blaring"

      actually they do, but as the dj chances are you know better than they do about how the music for the night needs to flow because they dont understand the repercussions.

      i'm a resident in the main room of a large club and its becoming harder and harder to do a legitimate 'warmup' set because the people coming in want to hear big tunes starting from 30 minutes after the club opens. and its not their fault that this is how they are thinking.

      as dance music has been getting more mainstream its been getting more radio airtime, and that includes playing peaktime music at 2.30pm on a weekday on a commercial radio station. then when you try to explain to someone requesting said song in your respectable nightclub at 9.30pm that is too early to drop this tune, 9/10 people are not going to understand because they probably heard it somewhere else already, before getting to the club.

      theres a fine line to walk balancing the various factors needed to produce a good set, but one of them is definitely responding to the trends of the scene and shaping what you do accordingly

    And here I thought it was the cocaine...

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