Scraping cutlery, excited conversations and rattling from the kitchen - everyone is acquainted with these background noises in restaurants. While some guests like a cheerful soundscape, others prefer a somewhat quieter athmosphere with their meal. So what to do? We've put together some tips for you on how to optimise the room acoustics. This will help you do justice to your guests and your location.
In addition to the menu and service, the ambience in the restaurant must also be right. Easier said than done, because cafés and restaurants are hot spots for loud noises. Besides telephone ringing, a shrill playlist or the fully automatic coffee machine, loud laughter from the regulars' table can also become an absolute disturbance factor. Of course, making guests aware of their loudness is not very charming and definitely not conducive to sales. Moreover, they often cannot help it, as they are subject to the Lombard effect. This means that a person automatically increases his or her volume in order to be better understood when background noise is present. Since high frequencies are more resistant to background noise than low frequencies, many people also increase their pitch. This leads to a vicious circle, as the noise level increases and therefore the speech volume is further adjusted. All these sounds add up to one thing: noise!
What kind of atmosphere is to be created depends on the type of catering. Is it a café, a bar, a pizzeria or a award-winning restaurant? And what do your guests expect from the respective location - a cosy evening, a business dinner or a party with friends?
Two examples illustrate the respective differences:
Not only the occasion is relevant, but also the individual needs of the guests. For example, make sure to place people with hearing aids in a quiet corner of the restaurant. This way they can also take part in the table talk and feel well looked after.
Not every location has an immediate issue with the room acoustics. Many new buildings are now designed and decorated to absorb noise. However, older or converted buildings may present specific challenges depending on the degree of angulation, room size, ceiling height or noise level.
Already starting with a sound pressure level of 45 dB(A) a normal conversation is made more difficult, from 50 dB(A) the voice has to be raised and from 60 db(A) the voice is already loud. For comparison: 70 db(A) approximately has the volume of a vacuum cleaner operated at a distance of one meter. At a sound pressure level of more than 80 dB(A), an ear-splitting environment prevails in which your guests absolutely feel uncomfortable. This can distress everyone involved and, in the worst case, lead to loss of revenue due to a shorter stay or absence of guests.
In order for neither you nor your guests having to settle with library whispers, we have put together some easily implementable measures for you:
We also use noise-reducing measures in our offices - naturally with stylish greenbox motifs!