Bottom Line Blog

Restaurant Ruckus: Quieting Down the Noise

May 4, 2016 4:30 pm Published by

Many things can affect a restaurant’s ambiance. Simple things like the lighting, décor, music, and table spacing can determine whether or not a person returns to your establishment. People like to be able to talk with the people at the table when having a meal in a restaurant. The trick for a restaurant is to allow everyone to hear the people at their own table without being bombarded by noise and a room full of conversations.

Here are some tips for keeping the noise level manageable:

Controlling Noise for Your Customers

After poor service, a Zagat survey revealed patrons hate noisy restaurants most. It ranked higher on the list of annoyances than a bad meal!

Here are a few tips for keeping the noise down. Remember that not all of these will work for every restaurant, but if you can implement even 2 or 3 of the noise-cancelling measures, you can drop the volume by several decibels.

  • Cover highly walked areas with carpet.
  • Use fabric panels on the walls.
  • If the floor is a hard substance (tile, wood, etc.), use a softer material for the ceiling to absorb sound.
  • Drapes keep windows from amplifying
  • Don’t put loud kitchen machinery near the dining room.
  • Have high partitions between booths.
  • Don’t crank up the background music.

Implementing any number of these suggestions will help to get sound levels back down below 70 decibels (dB). Anything above that, and customers will feel the need to raise their voices to be heard.

The Effect of Noise on Your Staff

Even if you like the sound of a crowd in the restaurant, keeping the volume down is an important factor for your team. Sustained noise of over 85 dB can actually cause hearing damage over time. And even if the noise doesn’t stay loud consistently, a temporary loud cacophony of sound can raise the blood pressure and otherwise stress the human body, causing your staff to become sluggish or irritated. Then the noise turns into poor service, and your customers experience both of the top two restaurant complaints, causing someone to take his business elsewhere.

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