For years now we have been harping on about the poor acoustic environments of cafes, bars and restaurants.

We have spoken of the shifting trend of restaurant interiors from softly furnished, spacious spaces, to the minimalist, hard surfaced and densely packed restaurants of today. We have also talked about just how loud some restaurants are becoming – up to 100 decibels, the same level of noise emitted by a working newspaper press.

Yet despite our pleas, and those of many others for restaurants to at least to consider acoustics for the well-being and sanity of diners, the epidemic of noisy restaurants is still here,

That’s why we are thrilled to hear Action On Hearing Loss‘ new campaign ‘Speak Easy’ – an effort to influence the hospitality industry to finally take noise seriously.

Action On Hearing Loss is encouraging diners and guests to actually engage with restaurateurs, and pub and cafe owners to let them know just how acoustically comfortable or uncomfortable their venue is.

Background noise is getting worse. People with hearing loss are finding it more and more difficult to enjoy restaurants, cafés and pubs with friends and family, while many people without hearing loss struggle to hold a conversation in these increasingly noisy environments.

– Action On Hearing Loss, 2016

Action On Hearing Loss are asking you – the diner – to share your experience on social media and on restaurant review websites such as TripAdvisor.

It’s not just noisy venues they want you to review, however. If you find a restaurant that has a pleasant acoustic environment – one where you can hold a comfortable conversation without straining – they want you to let others know.

The end goal? For restaurateurs and bar and cafe owners to take steps to make their venues acoustically comfortable and accessible to all, including those with hearing impairments.

Want to lend a hand? Get involved in the campaign. Or read Action On Hearing Loss’ report on restaurant, cafe and bar noise.