Restaurant Noise Reduction: 9 Ways to Soundproof Your Diner
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Did you know that your customers are likely to complain about the noise in your restaurant than they are about lousy food?
Noise complaints rank up high, second only to poor service.
Some restaurants that are located in busy and noisy areas can become so loud that it makes it difficult for customers even to hold a proper conversation.
Distracting noise is unpleasant to customers and, in return, unfriendly for your business.
To retain your customers and ensure a high rate of return visits from them, you need to find ways to deal with the issue.
One step at offering high-end service to your customers is making sure that your establishment provides a conducive environment for your customers.
So, how do you go about it? Soundproof your restaurant; that's the answer. But let's face it; it isn't that easy.
The Issue of Soundproofing Your Restaurant
Today, most restaurants are located in busy cities near very noisy neighborhoods.
If yours is one such establishment, you should implement noise reduction measures to help with the situation.
When business is doing great, you will find that the restaurant becomes overcrowded during dining hours.
More people means more noise, and at such times, the noise levels could be excruciatingly high. This is often as a result of the sounds that reverberate and reflect on hard surfaces.
For poorly equipped facilities, it can become extremely noisy, making it unbearable for customers.
Most restaurants have aesthetically strict designs, which makes it difficult to make alterations while maintaining design rules.
For instance, some wall and ceiling designs require wooden or tiled surfaces. If you install a carpet on the floor, it will impact negatively on the intended design standards.
Similarly, surfaces such as granite and marble are elegant and appealing to the eye, yet they make many footstep sounds that contribute to restaurant noises.
As a restaurant, finding a perfect balance between noise reduction solutions and aesthetics can be challenging. You want to do away with the noise while maintaining the aesthetic appeal.
With careful planning and implementation, finding the perfect balance between reducing the restaurant noise and offering an ambient atmosphere for your customers is possible.
Soundproofing Solutions for Restaurant Spaces
Soundproofing techniques help in preventing noise from overlapping to different sections of a restaurant.
By leveraging soundproofing techniques, you intend to trap sounds in the areas where they are coming from hence shielding others from being affected.
Solutions To Implement During Construction
One of the best tips for your restaurant noise reduction is to consider soundproofing during the early stages of a restaurant construction.
If you have already established the restaurant's neighborhood is noisy, then doing so will go a long way into curbing the noise.
Contractors and architects can use soundproofing solutions when designing restaurant spaces to minimize the noise. During the design phase, architects can address anticipated noise problems by doing the following.
Renovation Solutions For After Construction
The above solutions are only practical for restaurant owners who are yet to put up their structures.
However, if your restaurant is already up, you will need solutions that involve minimal renovations or no renovations at all.
Here are some ideas on how to soundproof your restaurants with minimal or no upgrades.
If your restaurant includes both a dining area and a bar, there are chances that the bar's noise will affect your dining guests. As such, it will be best to include some barrier between the two areas.
Doors are the best culprit when it comes to passing noise from one room to another. For the best results, you should replace the door entirely with one that is sturdy and built to block out the noise.
Another noisy area in your restaurant is the kitchen area. You can also install some soundproof doors to separate the kitchen from the dining area.
Depending on your restaurant's layout, your best bet would be to soundproof the wall between the bar and the dining area.
You can choose to go with some acoustic panels for your walls. These panels can either be perforated wood or fabric-wrapped.
Luckily, there are several options available in the market that will help maintain the aesthetic appeal of the restaurant.
These fabric panels can be redesigned to fit perfectly with restaurants' themes and designs and eventually add to the restaurant's esthetic value.
Similarly, decorated textiles can be used on walls to reduce the impact of reflected sounds and complement the restaurant's look.
If you are looking to do away with the noise entirely, you should install a soundproofing system within the wall. The system uses several materials to help block noise penetration ultimately.
These materials include drywalls and deadening pads that help get rid of residual noise by reducing the vibrations.
9 Easy Methods For Restaurant Noise Reduction
Noise reduction in restaurants is a robust project with numerous options available to mitigate against the problem.
The solutions you choose are highly dependent on the budget and nature of your restaurant.
There are several measures you can take to reduce restaurant noise. Have a look at some of them below.
1. Soundproof the furniture
Chairs make a lot of sound while they are pushed or dragged by your customers from one location to another. If this happens simultaneously, it can cause a significant level of noise disturbance to you already settled customers.
Soundproofing your chairs can help reduce this noise. You need to installing cushioning rubber caps to the chair legs.
Other than lowering restaurant noises, this solution also helps in protecting your floor from scrapes.
2. Install carpet in high traffic areas
Although carpets may be inappropriate considering your restaurant setup and design, it may be necessary if you are facing immense noise complaints.
Installing carpets in high traffic areas reduces the noise levels in your restaurant tremendously. In most instances, high traffic areas aren't the dining rooms; instead, the entrance and pathway to the kitchen are frequently used by waiters and waitresses, the lobby and the bar area.
If carpets are too much for your design, carefully placed area rugs can also reduce restaurant noise.
3. Block kitchen noise from getting to the dining area
Kitchen noises are known to contribute to the overall restaurant noises. Restaurant owners should put in place ways to reduce the impact of these noises on their customers.
To do this, restaurant kitchen doors should always remain closed to prevent sound overlaps.
If the noises are too much, you should consider soundproofing kitchen doors to muffle the disturbing kitchen sounds.
This solution, however, is only limited to those restaurants with separate kitchens.
Restaurants with open kitchen setups may face difficulties in blocking the kitchen sounds from reaching the rest of the facility areas.
4. Carefully choose tablecloths and curtains
Many modern restaurant designs do not involve the use of curtains, yet curtains have proven to be extremely helpful in reducing noise pollution.
Restaurant window panes and walls reflect sounds that are made within. Curtains offer proper cushioning surfaces for such sound and eventually contribute a lot in reducing the impact.
You can also achieve this sound softening effect by making use of quality tablecloths in your dining area.
5. Make the ceiling soft
There are two major approaches to this solution. You can either have professionals install special soundproof equipment on your ceiling to help absorb sounds and minimize the effects.
Similarly, you can insulate the ceiling by utilizing a soft cloth-draped ceiling. Ceiling solutions can be quickly improvised without destroying the intended interior décor.
6. Avoid installing or using loud equipment near the dining area
Smart decisions about where to locate your loud machinery can help in restaurant noise reduction.
For instance, you shouldn't place a blender or an espresso machine anywhere near the dining area. It is logically incorrect to do so since the noise will frequently disturb your diners.
Keeping such machinery away from high customer involvement areas will reduce noise complaints and ensure an overall better service to customers.
If you cannot position the machiner away from the dining area, you should try using some sound-absorbing material. For example, an acoustic partition around the server area, one of the biggest culprits, will be an excellent idea.
Separating the point of sale area will ensure your customers have more privacy, and help to reduce the distractions for the servers as well. You get to solve two problems with one solution!
7. Carefully choose your heating and air conditioning options.
Strategic positioning of the AC also helps in restaurant noise reduction. Sometimes when turned on, ACs hum and rattle causing severe customer disturbances.
This can also occur when you turn on the heat, making it necessary to carefully choose your heating and air conditioning locations.
8. Use a good quality stereo system and speakers.
Background music is a vital part of your restaurant's theme. Most restaurants prefer slow themed music that plays in the background and align with the overall ambiance of the restaurant.
Ensure that the music remains in the background at all times. This creates a delicate balance of entertainment and a conducive environment for diners to converse without necessarily shouting.
9. Hang baffles to suppress noise in larger dining rooms
If the dining room in your restaurant is one large room, then noises from the echoes will be a significant problem.
Hanging baffles in strategic areas in the dining area will help reduce the echoes significantly. Just like the panels, there are several sound dampening baffles you can choose from so you can maintain the overall design.
If you wish, you can even order some custom-made ones and turn your restaurant into a work of art.
The best thing about the baffles is that they don't require much to install. All you need is some railing and some hooks to get the baffles up.
Conclusion: On Restaurant Noise Reduction
Noise levels in a restaurant are a significant area of concern for restaurant owners looking to offer customers with the ultimate dining experience.
Modern restaurant designs become extremely loud when overcrowded due to the latest design trends that favor a minimalist approach.
Investing resources and time to ensure noise reduction in restaurants is a significant step ahead of other restaurants.
Customers are always in search of a better experience, and noise reduction solutions create an impeccable ambiance that, in turn, will put your restaurant ahead of the game.