Calling the ambiance ambulance.

I ate at a very popular restaurant on the Upper West Side last week.  During the entree, I remarked to my dinner partner how this specific establishment was always full – yet the place right next door was always empty.

“It’s the ambiance,” he said.  “Look around.  It’s just . . . I don’t know . . . exciting being here.”

I had never realized it before, but when I stopped chewing for a moment and looked around, there were elements of the environment that enhanced our experience.

Restaurants aren’t the only businesses that make changes to their environment in order to affect an audience’s experience.

There’s a reason there are no clocks in casinos.

There’s a reason why David Letterman likes his studio super cold.

And there’s a reason why strip clubs are very, very dark.

These details are designed to make you enjoy what you’re experiencing that much more.

I saw a show last week.  The temp was too warm, my seat wasn’t comfortable and there was paint peeling off the wall.

And you know what?

The show had to work that much harder to capture my attention.

Choose your venues carefully, because the right ambiance can set the mood for success.

  • Kate Powers says:

    I’d add that there are customer service components that contribute to ambiance: I hate it, for instance, when Broadway ushers bark at me as if I am an ill-mannered, hard of hearing tourist off the bus from Smallville. Even is I WERE a tourist off the bus from Smallville, I don’t imagine I would enjoy being barked at when I’ve spent the money for a Broadway ticket.

  • Sam says:

    Very much agree with this. The example I use is the beautifully restored Longacre: I truly believe that Boeing-Boeing and La Cage aux Folles were/are 10 times more enjoyable than they would have been had that theatre remained brown and gray.

  • Schmanny Schmoldstein says:

    How do you know that strip clubs are dark?

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