Noise in restaurants

2 minutes de lecture

Going to a restaurant is a moment of relaxation and pleasure. In some cases, excessive noise can have an impact on the atmosphere of the establishment. It affects the hearing health of customers and employees and can therefore harm the restaurant’s reputation.

Many sources of discomfort

According to a survey conducted by the French National Association for the Prevention of Hearing Disorders and Tinnitus – JNA (2023), 80% of respondents stated that noise levels in restaurants are too high.

Thus, for customers, noise has a strong impact on their restaurant experience, and can even make it difficult to appreciate the dishes and drinks, which are a crucial element of a meal.

Loud music, clinking plates, or the conversations of other customers, these nuisances make it difficult to hear your dining companions or the waiter. Thus, when there is significant reverberation, the background noise level (or ambient noise) increases, and people tend to speak louder to be understood by each other. This is called the “cocktail party effect“, creating a vicious circle in which the background noise increases as conversations become louder!

According to a survey conducted by OpenTable (2018), over 60% of customers stated that other customers’ conversations were the main source of noise in restaurants. Combined with excessive reverberation, this excess noise has a negative effect on communication between customers or with staff.

A major impact on customer frequency!

According to a study conducted in 2023 for JNA, more than 50% of customers chose not to enter or refused to return to a restaurant because of the noise. Consequently, poor acoustic comfort can lead to a significant loss of revenue and damage to its reputation.

Also, for employees, high noise levels can lead to health problems. This includes hearing damage, which can occur over time due to exposure to loud music or noisy kitchen equipment.

In terms of regulations, there is a legal framework for the noise levels that restaurants must comply with (whether inside or outside). This legislation aims to protect the public present in the establishment.

Solutions exist!

To mitigate the negative effects of noise in Horeca establishments, there are solutions to reduce noise levels. The use of soundproofing materials to reduce acoustic reverberation, the creation of separate areas for noisy groups, and the proper management of background music volume are all concrete solutions to improve sound comfort.

As acoustic specialists for over 10 years, we now offer proven tools to improve acoustic comfort in the hospitality and restaurant industry, and to improve customer loyalty.

Request an acoustic assessment of your premises now.

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