Last week we revealed how one North Wales restaurant has started playing classical music over the speakers in a bid to deter anti-social behaviour. The 24-hour McDonalds, on Regent Street in the centre of Wrexham, now plays Beethoven from 5pm after successful trials elsewhere.
To see the effect first-hand, we arrived at around 5.30pm on a busy Friday evening. Gathered inside there was a mixture of youths, workers clocking off for the weekend and people on their way for a night out.
I have been to this branch of McDonalds hundreds of times over the years, whether before or after a Wrexham AFC match or on a night out at some of the nearby pubs and clubs.
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It genuinely felt different to every other time I’d been there however. Maybe it’s because I was subconsciously aware of the new classical music policy, but it definitely felt more relaxed and certainly quieter (in terms of noise levels) than usual.
Now, I’m more Stone Roses than Strauss when it comes to my music tastes and Shazam doesn’t seem to recognise music from before the 1960s so I couldn’t tell you which particular Beethoven symphonies they were playing. But there was definitely an air of calmness, and even the gathered youngsters were in relaxed mood (that’s rare in this restaurant in all honesty).
Have you been to a McDonalds restaurant that plays classical music? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section
After ordering a couple of Big Mac meals, we sat down and observed our surroundings. The restaurant was as busy as usual but as said previously the decibel levels and boisterousness you come to expect from a city centre McDonald’s just weren’t there.
In terms of quality of food, there wasn’t much change there. Every Big Mac I’ve ever had has tasted the same – not that I’m complaining.
It would be interesting to see the figures in terms of anti-social behaviour in McDonalds over the next few months. I was there at 5.30pm rather than 2am after all, but to me it felt like the soothing sounds of Beethoven certainly did have an effect on mood, atmosphere and ambience.
This has been tried and tasted elsewhere as well so there must be some science behind it and if it does deter violence and general mischief then it seems to be a fantastic idea. I don’t expect hoardes of Classic FM listeners to be flocking to the golden arches anytime soon though.