Acoustics are the Key Ingredient for Restaurant Success

Location, menu, ambiance… these are some of the factors that contribute to a restaurant’s success. On the flip side, when researching what does not work in restaurants, noise is at the top of the list.

Excess noise is the top complaint from people eating out and it’s the factor most likely to ruin a dining experience according to studies by both Consumer Reports and international dining guide Zagat. Diners see noise as even more problematic than poor service or substandard food.

Acceptable noise levels will vary depending on the restaurant’s design brief and the client’s vision (a relaxing setting for intimate conversations vs. high energy with loud music). At either extreme, the noise level must match diners’ reasonable expectations. If acoustics are not handled correctly, it can result in negative reviews. And that’s bad for business.

Snowsound has a proven recipe for a more comfortable acoustic environment that will resonate with diners in all types of restaurant settings. Snowsound’s patented technology helps achieve optimal sound absorption and it reduces unwanted reverberation to significantly enhance the acoustic experience. The colors, shapes, and sizes of Snowsound products—and their ease of installation—make them the most user-friendly acoustic panels.

Poor acoustics that negatively affect the restaurant experience isn't a new problem. Consumer Reports has been tracking Top Restaurant Complaints and Worst Offenders for more than five years. But it has gotten worse, and restaurant designers sometimes make it worse.

Sound bounces around commercial spaces, particularly with hard finishes like concrete floors, hard chairs, brick walls and high, exposed ceilings. Some of the design trends contributing to the noise volume at eating establishments include the open kitchen, merging the bar with the dining room, full-service bar dining and the communal dining table. Add to that the current absence of soft goods in many restaurants and you have a recipe for noise.

That wasn’t always the case. In fact, from the 1940s through the early 1990s, fine dining establishments expressed luxury through plush interiors—and acoustic treatments themselves were a big part of that luxury.

Today restaurant designers can enlist the help of Snowsound's technology to reduce noise. These other tips are also effective as part of a total acoustical strategy to keep diners acoustically comfortable:

  1. Add Soft Furnishings. Fabric wall hangings, curtains, upholstered seating, tablecloths and cushions reduce sound by absorbing echo.
  2. Rethink Flooring. Carpets, especially in high-traffic areas, can reduce excess environmental noises inside the food establishment that might disturb other customers who are trying to relax and have a good conversation.
  3. Soundproof Mobile Furniture. Adding rubber or “soft” feet to chairs and stools can prevent loud noises when mobile furniture is moved around.
  4. Cover Windows. Glass contributes to noise levels by reflecting sound. Curtains, blinds and double glazing can reduce noise from inside and outdoors as well. Snowsound Fiber is especially effective in this application.
  5. Maintain HVAC. Invest in quiet systems and ensure regular maintenance so that equipment doesn’t have to work too hard. This can lead to unwanted noise.

Is noise negatively affecting your restaurant’s reviews and revenue? Contact Snowsound today for a free acoustic analysis and quote. Fill out our online data form here.

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