Restaurant & Cafè Music Licence

Music in restaurants & cafés could help enhance your atmosphere and create an enjoyable environment for your customers and staff.

Whether you are playing background music in your café for your customers, using the radio in the kitchen for staff, or having live performances in your restaurant you’ll usually need a music licence from PPL PRS.

In order to play or perform music legally within your restaurant and cafés you may need TheMusicLicence. This ensures permission is granted from the relevant copyright holders in relation to the vast majority of commercially available music.


Do I need a music licence for my restaurant or café?

You might not realise it but music is protected by copyright, and businesses and organisations have to get permission from the music creators to play or perform their works in public (see FAQ ‘What does playing music ‘in public’ mean?’).

TheMusicLicence allows you to legally play music for customers and employees in your restaurant or café through the radio, TV and other digital devices and even live performances and specially featured entertainment.

By obtaining TheMusicLicence you’ll be able to play virtually all commercially released music legally and enjoy its benefits whilst ensuring that its creators are fairly rewarded for their work.

Make every hour happy!

Whether it’s Jazz, Hip-hop, Pop, Rock or Blues, music has the power to uplift, overcome and connect with people in ways no other creative art can.

But, using music in your restaurants and cafés is about more than just creating an enjoyable atmosphere. When used effectively, music has the potential to enhance your environment, bring people together and help your business stand out from your competitors.

music at restaurants

Music & customer experience

What do you want customers to experience whilst dining in your restaurant or café? Quality service? Relaxing or upbeat ambience? Music can be an important part of day-to-day life for many people, particularly during their leisure time, which is why something could seem missing without it in your restaurant or cafés environment.

Did you know 53%* of UK adults dislike dining in silence? By simply introducing background music to your café or restaurant you can avoid awkward silences and provide an opportunity for your customers to feel more engaged, relaxed and making their experience with your business more memorable.

In addition, playing music could help to create a more positive atmosphere and improve customer satisfaction by helping to set the tone, boost the mood and create an entertaining environment.

We have always recognised the fundamental importance of music within our venues – it is an essential part of the ambience…”

Berkeley Inns

Music & increased revenue

Music can affect us in the most unexpected ways. Our spending habits are a prime example of this.

Take classical music. This puts 31%* of diners in the mood to order expensive food. Meanwhile, 40% of adults said that they are more likely to indulge in an extra if pop music is playing.

By playing music that reflects your brand and customers you could make them feel right at home in your restaurant or café. This in turn could mean they potentially spend more time in your premise as a result.

We have so many comments on how customers have enjoyed the playlists, even asking where they can buy the CD.”
Tamworth Tap

Music & brand awareness

Just like your business, music is unique. A tailored soundtrack could help to give your restaurant or café an identity, whilst defining your brand and establishing consistency throughout your business. Take a look at Wahaca:
The interior is so colourful we have to have something that’s going to reflect and enhance your experience and always to keep it fresh and keep it interesting so people can discover new music when they come into a restaurant.”

Wahaca uses music to complement its brand and to distinguish it from its competitors. That’s why music could be considered just as important as your company name or décor.

Whether your business is upbeat and lively, serene and romantic or relaxed and laid back, the music you choose can help you create exactly the right atmosphere and can be important to your individuality.

Music & employee engagement

How can playing music in my restaurant or café keep my employees engaged and motivated?

Firstly, having a positive and uplifting environment is vital to keep your employees more engaged and focused. For instance, playing different genres and artists at different times in the day could lead to higher productivity, improving concentration and motivation.

Secondly, music could help to create a friendly and more welcoming atmosphere which could help to drive collaboration with colleagues and interaction with customers, as a result, potentially leading to improved levels of service and a better customer experience overall.

In the morning before the customers get there we try and play something that’s more upbeat as well when staff are getting going in the morning”.
Caffe Nero

In conclusion, playing music could improve efficiency and quality of work but it can also improve employee satisfaction and potentially make your staff feel more valued if you are not currently playing music in your restaurant or café.

Live music & entertainment

Live music has the power to bring people together, be it in a restaurant and café or a huge muddy field. Hosting live music and events could help to create a community and mean customers return time and time again.

Since TheMusicLicence covers a vast range of music usage including live music performances, festivals, classical concerts, dance performances, theatrical performances, open mic nights, karaoke, comedy shows and film screenings; you can appeal to a wide range of audiences and the entertainment you choose could be tailored to what your specific community will enjoy.

Not only could live entertainment help to create an engaging and entertaining environment for your customers, but it could also help to distinguish your business from others, help you stay ahead of the competition, and may be why your customers choose your business over others.

Hosting live events could help to attract fans of the music, genre or style of music that is used; particularly if you showcase artists and local talent through live performances. PPL PRS generally only charge a percentage of ticket sales for events, meaning that live entertainment could potentially be an economical way of generating new custom.

Hosting events give artists the opportunity to perform live and could act as an important platform for upcoming talent to showcase their work. While this could strengthen the music scene in your community, it also has the potentially to increase the reputation and popularity of your business.

*A survey of 2,101 UK respondents by Perspectus Global in September 2021. 

How much does a music licence cost for my restaurant or café?

The cost of TheMusicLicence depends on a number of factors, including your type of venue and how you use music in your day-to-day operations, whether that be for background purposes or other usages such as music on hold. Here are some examples:

Background music

Starts from...
£1.40 per day

Live Music performances

Starts from...
per attendee

*All cost examples are subject to change

Quote Checklist

Before contacting us, please ensure you’ve read our Quote Checklist for each section that is applicable to you, and have the relevant information ready so we can provide an accurate quote for your workplace music licence.

Background music

  • Number of employees, working days and hours of operation.
  •   The areas where music is used, such as office areas, factory floors etc.
  • Type of devices used to play music, such as radio, CDs, TVs etc.
  • The square meterage of each area where music is audible.

Music on hold

  •   Number of external lines.

Restaurants & Café's FAQs

  • I am a new customer and would like to get TheMusicLicence

    Ready to play music? Great!

    Now all we need are some details from you so we can get in touch, set up TheMusicLicence and have you playing music in no time.

  • Who is PPL PRS Ltd?

    PPL PRS Ltd was created to provide customers with a streamlined music licensing service – TheMusicLicence – with a single point of contact to make it easier to legally play and perform music in public. PPL PRS Ltd is equally owned by PPL and PRS for Music.

    PPL PRS Ltd started trading in 2018. Prior to 2018, businesses and organisations would have had to purchase two separate licences from PPL and PRS for Music instead.

  • Who is PPL and PRS for Music?

    PPL and PRS for Music are both collective management organisations. They issue licences and collect royalties for certain uses of copyright-protected music, on behalf of their many hundreds of thousands of members. They then distribute those royalties to members.

    PPL represents record companies and performers for the use of recorded music, while PRS for Music represents songwriters, composers and music publishers for the use of musical compositions and lyrics (for both recorded music and live performances).

    PPL and PRS for Music set up PPL PRS Ltd to offer a single joint music licence, on behalf of them both, for playing and performing music in public (see ‘What does playing music ‘in public’ mean?’).

  • What happens once I have paid for TheMusicLicence?

    Once you have paid for your licence or arranged a direct debit, you will be legally permitted to play or perform the vast majority of commercially released music from around the world, in accordance with the terms outlined in your tariffs and TheMusicLicence Terms & Conditions.

    Your licence confirmation will be sent to you either via email or post (depending on your chosen communication method).

    If you would like to change your preferred communication method, please our Customer Services Team.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    0800 0720 808

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

  • What does playing music ‘in public’ mean?

    Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – those who create, record and publish music – in order to play or perform music in public.

    Broadly speaking, this includes any presentation of music outside of a domestic setting. For example, it will include using music in the following ways as part of your business or organisation (for the benefit of customers and/or employees): playing recorded music via any device including the CDs, MP3, vinyl, tape and other records; showing TV broadcasts or other audio-visual content containing music; or putting on live performances of music.

    There are a range of tariffs to cover the different uses of music across various venue types. However, the use of this music will usually require permission from the copyright holders and TheMusicLicence will give you that permission, covering the vast majority of commercially released music.

  • Is it illegal to play music in my restaurant & café without TheMusicLicence?

    If you play or perform music in your restaurant or café, the chances are you need a music licence.

    Under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – those people who create music – in order to play or perform music in public.

    Obtaining TheMusicLicence gives you this permission, in relation to the vast majority of available music. This ranges from grassroots and independent artists and composers through to the biggest names in the business.

  • How can I play music in my restaurant & café?

    You can play music at your restaurant and café in different ways. Whether it’s playing background music for your customers via digital devices or by tuning into the radio.

    You can play music in the following ways:

  • The music is only for employees in my restaurant, do I still need TheMusicLicence?

    Even if you are only playing music in your restaurant for employees, you’ll usually need TheMusicLicence.

    Music that's played outside of a domestic environment is classed as a public performance, even if the music can only be heard by employees in the staff areas in your restaurant.

    TheMusicLicence gives you permission to play music in your business or organisation for your employees.

    If you're unsure about whether you need a licence, please contact us.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    0800 051 6833

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

  • I only play the radio in my café, why do I need TheMusicLicence?

    If you are playing the radio in your business or organisation, you’ll usually need TheMusicLicence. Although the radio stations pay both PPL and PRS for Music for the right to broadcast, it does not include playing the radio in public, such as business premises.

    TheMusicLicence allows you to legally play music for employees, customers or visitors in your business or organisation.

    If you're unsure about whether you need a licence, please contact us.

    Speak to our friendly team today.

    0800 015 6228

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

  • Where does the money go after I have paid my restaurant & cafés music licence fee?

    Your music licence fees are distributed to music creators via PPL and PRS for Music.

Get a quote

If you’ve got all your information ready, please contact us or complete our Get TheMusicLicence form to arrange a quote.

Call us on 0116 290 0525

(8am-6pm, Monday-Friday)

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Thinking about playing music in your restaurant or café and want to know more?

What is TheMusicLicence?

What is TheMusicLicence

TheMusicLicenceallows you to legally play music for employees or customers in your business through the radio, TV, other digital devices and live performances.
Learn more

Do I need a music licence?

Do I need a music licence?

If you use, play or perform music in your business or organisation, the chances are you need a music licence.
Learn more

Where does my money go?

Where does my money go?

After our business costs, music licence fees are distributed to all those involved in making music via our parent companies PPL and PRS for Music.
Learn more

How do I get TheMusicLicence?

Call us on 0116 290 0525

(8am-6pm, Monday-Friday)

Alternatively you can complete the online form and an adviser will be in touch.