Am I alone in disliking a noisy restaurant?. I think everyone must agree that an eating environment where you have to shout to be heard, when only sitting opposite somebody, is not the best experience.
Being disturbed by conversations or kitchen noise on the other side of the restaurant in a highly reverberant space is not ideal – whether you realise you are uncomfortable or not.
I believe that good room acoustics are key to a successful restaurant (quality of food is fairly important too – but you know what I mean). We have treated many restaurants with poor acoustics. And I can honestly say with 100% success on every occasion. How did we do this? What was our approach?…
I would suggest the following reasons for our success: -
1. INDIVIDUALITY – We look at every acoustic treatment project individually and treat them differently, particularly in restaurant environments. You can study as many studies and papers as you like… but every eatery is different, every surface is generally different and the clients acoustic goals are generally always different. It is just as important to understand your clients desires for their clienteles experience as is it the understanding of all the behavior of sound all of its nuances. Very exclusive, expensive, high end restaurants, generally but not exclusively prefer to have a very ‘dead’ sound. Supporting that feeling of exclusivity, speech privacy, relaxation. Some restaurants require a buzz and and a youthful excitement. Once we have collated this information we work towards a reverberation time that would best suit.
1. Design is KEY – We use highly effective, attractive acoustic products from discreet sound absorbing black ceilings to feature custom printed wall panels – or textured sound diffusing panels. Enhance the appearance of the space and create a feature from any acoustic treatment is our advice. Design is KEY.
There is plenty more – but with the right meeting with the right people, a good survey and a great design you can achieve fantastic listening environments in restaurants and bars. There is no ‘one size’ or ‘RT fits all’ and over analysis and over-complication in my personal opinion is unnecessary.
When I eat in restaurants with poor acoustics – I ask the front of house, do you realise your restaurant could feel so much better?… often, interestingly, the answer is yes. If I wasn’t so busy eating I might just make some sales…
Restaurant Acoustics Critic / Salesman.