When you go out to eat a little bit of ambient noise or crowd chatter is expected. You are, after all, in a public space. But, just like everything else in life, too much is too much.
It seems in modern times that life has just becomes louder and this has become painfully apparent in the layout of many restaurants. With trends changing from the “comfortable” look of 20 years ago to a more industrialized styling with open dining areas, the noise is seemingly getting worse for diners in many places.
There is, however, good news: the restaurant industry is full of creative people with solutions to the big problems that are making your dining area louder.
Problem 1: The Way Your Restaurant Is Built
Many of your noise problems will stem from the way your building is shaped and what materials were used in the construction of it.
Avoid perfectly square rooms that bounce noise around.
Try building with curved walls that capture sound.
Consider building with brick, using deep grout.
Use sound-absorbent materials where possible, such as on ceilings.
- Realize that the current restaurant trend of large, warehouse spaces can come with echo and can cause unique sound challenges.
Problem 2: Not Decorating For Sound Absorption
There are many tricks at your disposal to help absorb sound. Most of them can be found in how you decorate the dining area. Soft material will help mute the sound waves and create a welcoming environment for your guests.
Use soft, thick material for curtains and hang them around the dining area.
Rugs and other soft floor pieces can be added for both comfort and sound absorption-- they also clean easily.
Consider thick table clothes for each table-- something that isn't obvious but can help mute the room.
- Take a page from the recording studio playbook and utilize acoustic panels as decorations on the wall-- the key is use materials such as wood, fabric or metal that is perforated so that sound waves can penetrate the panel into an absorbent backing.
Restaurateurs have always been innovators; and as new challenges emerge, you can be sure someone, somewhere is fixing the problem in their own unique way. The best way to solve these problems are to seek out the experts and add a dash of creativity.
If you would like to learn more about other ways to improve your diner experience check out Split, an innovative solution for restaurants that helps connect restaurants with their customers through mobile technology.
Writer Bio: Jared Rigsby is a writer and graphic designer with a BA in Writing/Literature from Middle Tennessee State University. A longtime freelancer, he is published monthly through Dish Magazine (dishmag.com) and develops logos and websites through Neochromatic.com.