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In conclusion, the evidence reviewed here illuminates just how important what we hear is to our everyday experience of food

and drink. When taken together, the research supports the view that auditory cues can (and do) influence many different aspects of eating/ dining experiences in restaurant. In fact, the research has demonstrated that what we hear influences everything, from what we choose to eat to the total amount and the rate at which we eat it, and to the perceived pleasantness, identity and flavor characteristics of the food in our mouths. The fact that patrons were prepared to spend more when popular, jazz and classical music were played suggests that spending might be increased by music that creates the perception of an upbeat or upmarket environment. This finding corresponds with North and Hargreaves (1998) who found that classical and popular music had a more positive effect on purchase intentions than easy listening and no music. Similarly, Areni and Kim (1993) found that people were prepared to spend more in a McDonalds when music was playing. In the present context, music was not considered to be appropriate by a large number of customers. This suggests that there may be some discrepancy between the amount of money clienteles indicated they would be prepared to spend, and the amount of money actually spent. Overall, however, the findings reported here are consistent with a model of the effects of music on purchasing which states that the nature of peoples responses to music activates contextually relevant knowledge or behavior in other domains (North and Hargreaves, 1998: 2267). The present findings support Radocy and Boyles (1997) suggestion that people might be inclined to spend more time and money in a restaurant when the music being played is considered appropriate. Similarly, findings support MacInnis and Parks (1991) notion that persuasion is enhanced when the music is appropriate for the context in which it is played. Findings suggest that responses to the characteristics of the restaurant were positively influenced by factors such as the number of people dining at a table, the amount of meal consumed, the quality of service, and the number of times patrons had been to the restaurant before. These positive relationships were only found to exist when the more upbeat styles of music were played. Again, these findings support the notion that peoples responses to music may activate contextually relevant behavior in other domains. There are several practical applications of the results reported in this study. Firstly, results suggest that music can be used by restaurant and store owners to create a specific atmosphere which will distinguish the environment from competitors. Findings also suggest that stores which play upbeat or upmarket music may be able to charge higher prices. Overall, the absence of music had the most negative effect on atmosphere and the amount of money patrons were prepared to spend. This research has demonstrated that music can influence the perceived characteristics of the environment in which it is played.

Several potential mechanisms (both physiological and psychological) have been put forward over the years in order to try and explain the various ways in which what people hear influences their food perceptions and behaviors: these include more bottomup processes, such as physiological/ autonomic effects on a persons level of arousal (e.g., Areni and Kim 1993; Herrington and Capella 1996) and multisensory perceptual interactions result-ing from the influence of sound on our experience of food and drink (Calvert et al. 2004; Spence and Zampini 2006; Verhagen and Engelen 2006), and more top-down processes, such as putative conditioning effects resulting from the sounds made by our interactions with the packaging of food on the pleasant-ness of the food or drink itself (Jacob 2006; Spence et al. 2009). It is important to note that these explanations are not mutually exclusive. What is more, given the range of situations in which auditory cues have been shown to modulate peoples perception of, and responses to, food and drink, it is likely that several (if not all) of the putative mechanisms outlined above may play a role under certain conditions.

In addition, it has provided evidence that different types of music can produce specific atmospheres such as upmarket and upbeat. Importantly, the study demonstrated that music can influence the amount of money patrons are prepared to spend, and perhaps the amount of money they actually spend. Overall, it is clearly evident that music has the potential to influence psychological, physical and emotional needs of consumers everywhere including restaurant (McDonalds) where the research was conducted.