The sound of silence is just the name of an old song today… that probably plays in noisy restaurants on the highest volume.
The dining experience nowadays has changed big time. Today, we have everything offered on the table. There are plenty of otherworldly cuisines for us to try out and thanks to globalization, it is probably somewhere just around the corner. You have everything on your menu except one thing probably. And that is peace and quiet. You know, for us hedonists who like to enjoy flavors with all of our senses.
This probably happened to us all some times. You find a nice place to grab a bite with your friends. And then you find yourself yelling across the table because your friends can’t hear you. In the end, you just can’t wait to grab what’s left of your food and find another place or just come back home. No wonder that food delivery is so popular today.
Why is it important to be loud?
Most restaurant owners have that kind of attitude that no one wants to feel like they’ve entered a mausoleum. It becomes something that we get used to along the way. We may not notice it or it is slightly annoying… but noise pollution has a huge impact on your overall health. After a long period of exposure to noise, you may experience nausea, headaches and sometimes even anxiety and more. For those that are not frequent visitors of restaurants, this is not a huge issue – but people working there will probably experience this sooner or later.
Restaurant design also plays a problem in… well, creating the noise.
Times have changed and designs have changed as well – no tablecloths, carpet curtains, plants. Designs are often minimalistic – so the acoustics are minimalistic as well. Restaurant owners probably think to themselves – the louder the better, it will attract new people, they want to go where the buzz is. Often excuses are that we are simply a loud nation (apply that to every nation you want). But in the end – it costs your restaurant for some nasty reviews. You may have a 5-star rating on your food – but if the service and ambiance are bellow 3-star rating, we have some bad news for you.
If you just opened your restaurant and your dream came true
One of the most common dreams among millennials is to open their own little Italian style cafe. In your head, everything probably looks like a picture with a sepia filter, Sophia Lauren songs are playing in the background and everyone is smiling happily. In reality, you are in the middle of a crowded city probably and that Sophia Lauren’s song on repeat sure became annoying to your customers. Our tip for new business owners and those who are in this business – learn to listen to your customers. These background noises may have clouded your rationalizing as well.
Some of the most important things you need to keep in mind are:
- Background music should be pleasant. There are perfect ambiance mixes that will match your restaurant theme and vibe. Useful tricks from the experts – don’t change the volume levels, change the tempo. This trick will help you increase table turns. Push the tempo during the hectic lunch hours and take it slowly during night hours -it will increase the bar orders. This creates a calm and relaxing atmosphere and your customers will probably want to stick up for a bit longer.
- Acoustic panels are always great for absorbing sound. It won’t change your design, and you will notice the changes instantly.
- Heating and air condition – something your customers should just feel, not hear. Keep them all in the quietest mode possible.
- Dining areas should be cleared of all background noises – soda machines, ice machines should be away. Also, the side stations that are often loud should also be away.
- Rethink your restaurant’s design. It is just a question of time when something will become retro. So, be ahead of the time and bring something new to the table. A table cloth perhaps.
- Invest in a good stereo system and speakers. No one likes to feel like they are on a speed-death-metal gig in someone’s basement.
If you are a customer and you want to enjoy the silence (not that Depeche Mode song)
First things first – you need to do your research. Google for reviews with the noise keyword to see which restaurants got comments for being too noisy. Then you will know what to avoid. Once your research is done, it is time to reserve the table. Choose less crowded hours.
Now, don’t be afraid to express your opinion. Make your reservation and ask clearly for a more quiet area. Ask for more quiet seating areas that are far from the kitchen, toilet, bar, entrance, etc. Also, avoid tables for six or more. Another neat trick you can use is to sit with the only wall behind you. This will reduce the background noise and you can finally enjoy a nice meal and a nice talk with your friends along the way.
Yet, if things are still so loud that you can’t hear your thoughts: you can always mention that to the restaurant staff. Restaurants always want their customers to feel comfortable and they will probably do everything they can to make you feel better and enjoy your meal.
Always keep in mind that if something is bothering you – you can always relocate. Or you can make the best out of this entire situation – improvise, overcome, adapt. Eventually, you can always leave a bad review is somebody is mistreating you.
Restaurant owners need to learn to listen to their customers – they are the most important part of their business. You don’t need to be loud, let your customers be loud about how excellent your service was. Don’t be afraid to experiment with interiors in order to create a beautiful environment.
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