There are a number of combining factors that create a poor acoustic environment in restaurants, which harms diner satisfaction:
Poor restaurant acoustics are often cited as one of the top five reasons that a diner would not return to a restaurant. The following reviews appear on the popular travel website ‘TripAdvisor’ and are just two of the over 2,000 negative restaurant reviews that talk of poor restaurant acoustics:
Above are both reviews of modern restaurants in London that share the following features: bare tables, stripped floors, open plan designs and open kitchens. These are all features of the modern restaurant. The industry has largely discarded carpeting, table cloths and heavy curtains in favour of sleek, modern designs.
While keeping up with the times may be visually appealing, it ultimately sacrifices diner comfort. The prevalence of hard, reverberant surfaces in a large, open environment means noise is reflected from surface to surface, prolonging the time it takes for noise to die out. This adds to a room’s echo and ambient noise levels. Throw into the mix open bars and kitchens, the cluttering of a kitchen, vibrant conversation and live music, and you have a clamorous and uncomfortable noise environment.
Whilst some see this as part of a lively, bustling restaurant – as the previous reviews show us, many see it as the difference between a return visit or not.In April 2014, The Boston Globe newspaper in the United States tested the decibel levels at eight modern restaurants in the Boston area. The results ranged from 66 decibels (a safe range similar to normal conversation levels) to 97 decibels (equivalent to the sound of a motorcycle; with a risk exposure limit of eight hours daily). The average recorded decibel level was 78 decibels, equivalent to the sound of heavy traffic noise. What consequences do these restaurant noise levels have for diners, however?
- Very Loud
A study conducted by the food company Unilever and the University of Manchester wanted to find out whether background restaurant noise affected diners’ perception of flavour. They found that people rated food less salty and less sweet as noise levels increased. Conversely, when noise levels decreased, the perception of those tastes increased. The results indicate that noise has a somewhat masking effect on taste. This one of the reasons why airplane food doesn’t taste very good. The deafening roar of the engines can make the food taste less sweet and less salty.
- Our acoustic survey, full design and no obligation quotation service is completely free of charge throughout the UK.
- We focus on design, creating innovative, visually pleasing installations.
- Our noise assessment and design process ensures we specify the exact quantity of acoustic treatment required. Ensuring there is little waste and our customers are not over spending.
- We work closely with the leading acoustic product manufacturers to get the best prices for our customers.
- Our installers have a wealth of experience and knowledge meaning they can install even the most complex of acoustic systems.
It has made a huge difference for both the dining hall and the gym. Everyone loves it – especially the teachers!!
The Resonics installation at The Glebe Centre was completed courteously, efficiently, on time and to budget. The improvement was immediately obvious.
Thank you. I am delighted with the quality of the work. The final solution, attitude and communication were excellent.
We are absolutely delighted with the work! What a difference to the acoustics of the hall – so much better!
We are delighted with the work and attention to detail – especially in designing an interesting and aesthetic layout. There is also, of course, a considerable improvement in acoustic performance.
Thank you very much for your work it has made a vast amount of difference to the atmosphere and means quite a lot of people can work in the same room without annoying each other
The panels have made a significant difference to the noise level in the restaurant and we have had lots of positive feedback from customers. I would like to thank you and your team for providing this solution and the high level of service.