Classical music is not necessarily music to everyone's ears. Most music listeners aren't likely to appreciate the complexities of a symphonic composition, and that's exactly what Sukhi Sandhu, who owns a 7-Eleven franchise on McHenry and Morris Avenues in downtown Modesto, CA, is counting on.
To deter loiterers and panhandlers from hanging out outside his store and potentially discouraging actual customers from quenching their thirsts with a Big Gulp, Sandhu improvised a clever remedy.
He told the Modesto Bee he began cranking up the exquisite music on outdoor speakers as part of a non-confrontational initiative to combat the increasing problem of panhandlers outside of businesses in the area.
Manuel Souza, a 47-year-old homeless man, admitted he was one of the "riffraff" who had a hard time being subjected to the sonic offense.
Once the music started, the riffraff left. It's hard to hang out and gossip and joke around.
Sandhu said customers feel safer with the pretty music creating a safer environment.
This is a win-win situation. I'm hearing nothing but positives.
Another method Sandhu employs to reduce the loitering problem is a screeching device that simulates the sound of a mosquito buzzing in your ear. He turns on the device as needed.
The corporate offices issued a statement about improving the customer experience but didn't provide any other insight.
We test a variety of programs in our stores that promote an excellent experience for our customers. We have received very positive feedback from our customers about the atmosphere created by the music devices piloted in several 7-Eleven stores across the US.
The new tactic inspired a whole suite of puns online.
For those who aren't paying customers, it's time to Bach-off!