Sonos Pro Editorial Team
If there’s one thing you’ll notice when stepping inside a Chaia Tacos, it’s the familiar, warm atmosphere — much like the restaurant’s original farmers’ market stand. Their secret? Sound. Sizzling veggies, chatting customers, and inviting music that meets the mood.
Sound is one of the biggest contributors to setting the tone of a space, and it’s exactly what Chaia is leveraging as it conquers one of its biggest challenges to date: How to keep growing without losing the friendly ambiance that it’s known for.
Since their market days, co-founders Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon have successfully expanded their footprint to three locations.
“Our years selling at markets gave us a chance to slowly build our business and to figure out what worked,” says Bettina. “Selling at markets was up close and personal.”
This taught them the value of welcoming each and every customer. “From those early days at [the] market, we were able to differentiate ourselves, define our purpose and values early, and we’ve never strayed.”
As Chaia has grown, it’s recreated that same personal, welcoming atmosphere at multiple storefronts. One of its most important tools in that effort has been Sonos Pro. With personalized, flexible, and quality music options at each restaurant, Chaia can ensure all of its guests feel welcome no matter where they visit.
The challenge: creating consistent ambience
Chaia already knows how to succeed as a farmers’ market stand and as a series of local shops, and now they’re taking on exciting plans to grow throughout the DC-Maryland-Virginia region and beyond. As Chaia grows, they’ve been working to make the ambience they’re known for consistent in every location.
While Chaia values giving team members freedom over what music plays, they need to be sure that the music aligns with their values and brand, and will put a smile on customers’ faces. As Bettina explains, “We want to forge ahead into our next chapter of growth with all the good vibes intact.”
What Sonos Pro means for Chaia
Chaia can set up their music and forget about it. They don’t need to worry about licensing or if the music will fit the ambiance. Plus, the user-friendly dashboard makes addressing any technical issues a breeze.
Juan Dromgoole, Chaia’s Director of Operations, says that “with a simple visit to the Sonos Pro dashboard we’ve been able to solve everything.” If anything does require further attention, Sonos’ excellent support team can take care of it.
He acknowledges that Sonos Pro has been able to provide excellent support through a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) – ensuring any technical issues are quickly resolved. Within the dashboard, Chaia is able to effectively manage the music and ambiance. In case anything requires further attention, Chaia can rely on Sonos Pro's dedicated support team, giving them peace of mind and the freedom to focus on their business.
Most importantly, Sonos Pro lets Chaia’s team focus on their work. Its reliability combined with scheduling features means that they don’t need to constantly look after the music system. Juan noticed that “Our supervisors’ focus has shifted to running the floor rather than worrying about the music so much.”
By empowering employees to control the music and create the perfect ambiance with specially-curated stations, Chaia can keep the local flavor it's known for across every location.
With Sonos Pro, Chaia can enjoy the convenience of managing all features from one central location, even when they are off-site. This remote management makes it easy for businesses to customize and adjust the music to fit their customers' needs, no matter where they are. The scalability of Sonos Pro is a huge difference-maker for Chaia, and it means they can keep growing without worrying about their ingredients for success.
Three factors for Chaia’s success
Those early days at the market taught Chaia’s founders three ingredients that helped them grow quickly. By staying attentive to these factors, they have been able to keep expanding.
Making every customer welcome
Chaia staff ensure that every customer feels welcome as soon as they walk through their doors. They first learned this value at the farmers’ markets, and they’ve worked hard to keep the same ethos as they brought their food to brick-and-mortar locations.
Bettina says a great way to welcome customers is with music. “Music has the extraordinary effect of setting the mood. At Chaia, we like to help ‘set the stage’ for our guests by inviting them into our spaces with warmth and hospitality. Good music can make them smile.”
Thanks to Sonos Pro, the guests are already smiling when they walk in, and they’re even more ready to enjoy delicious food.
Naturally, the most important factor in a restaurant’s success is its food. From the very beginning, Chaia has focused on cooking plant-powered, healthy food with delicious, fresh ingredients.
The vegetable-focused menu lets Chaia make sure its business is sustainable and healthy, and the great recipes keep people coming back for more. On top of that, by buying locally as much as possible and seasonal, fresh vegetables from local farms, Chaia almost guarantees its food will be delicious.
Buying fresh, seasonal, and local food can come with challenges: How do you have a consistent menu through the changing seasons? The answer is, you don’t. Chaia adapts select menu items to what’s in season. They also give customers the flexibility to customize their tacos however they want.
The flexibility doesn’t stop at food. Chaia also changes its ambiance with the time and day of the week. Bettina says, “Mid-afternoons during the week call for music that puts you in a good mood (country has a good chance of doing that) while Sunday mornings might bring some jazz tunes into the shop.”
Chaia knows that its customers come for the welcoming environment and great food. They needed a way to keep growing while maintaining what made their restaurants so successful in the first place. With Sonos Pro, Chaia Tacos can maintain their farmer's market atmosphere and welcoming environment in every location, allowing customers to enjoy delicious food and good vibes, no matter where they are.
With our easy and scalable solution , Chaia Tacos can create the perfect atmosphere for their customers, ensuring they keep coming back for more. As Bettina says, "Tacos and music can change the world." If you want to see how Sonos Pro can help your business create the perfect ambiance, get in touch with a Sonos Pro representative today.