Restaurants and Acoustics: the din in dining out

Nowadays, one has to search far and wide to find a restaurant where people can still have a normal conversation without having to shout at each other to understand one another. In a recent Zagat Dining Trends survey, restaurant noise is considered the top complaint.

Just like our homes and workplaces, restaurants are becoming more modern and stark, without paying much attention to noise. Buildings that used to have a completely different purpose, such as banks and factories, are transformed into trendy catering establishments where sound vibrations between concrete and steel have such a free play that you have to shout your innermost feelings over a table towards each other. Inevitably, guests start talking even louder to rise above the noise. In turn, other guests start talking more loudly. Add to this the clink of crockery, gurgling espresso machines and squeaky chair legs and what should have been a nice restaurant visit, soon becomes a true auditory hell.

Restaurants have every interest in paying extra attention to room acoustics, since we not only visit them to eat, but also to interact socially with others. The contact with dining companions and the staff must of course be possible. Unfortunately, it appears that due to poor acoustics, this is often not the case. For many hearing impaired and elderly people with hearing loss, communication in such restaurants is impossible. A survey by the professional association Audiologische Industrie Nederland shows that 28% of people over 55 years old would go out more often if there would be less noise. But also for the majority of the people who do not suffer hearing loss, bad acoustics can be labelled ‘annoying’ at the very least. In addition, restaurant noise has been proven to make food taste blander, and alters the way the brain processes smell and taste.

In short, restaurant owners benefit from taking acoustics into account when designing their restaurant, so that guests can fully enjoy their meal in peace and comfort. Fortunately, there are various aesthetic solutions to improve room acoustics. Whether you opt for a seamlessly integrated BASWA Phon system with marble sand finish, trendy translucent acoustic honeycomb panels or wafer-thin bendable panels made of sintered aluminium, Sonogamma offers numerous exclusive, modern and high-end acoustic solutions for every reverberation problem so that eating out becomes a pleasure again.