Acoustic solutions for restaurants is not a luxury, but a necessity. The dining experience has come a long way over the past few decades.
Restaurant owners go to great lengths to create spaces that we all want to go to as much for the ambiance as we do for the food. The entire place has become a blank canvas by which the restaurant can create very specific feels and themes that bring us back for the sense of place we get from it. Some of them are very cool, and some of them miss the mark. Unfortunately, the hard surfaces popular in a huge amount of modern designs will very often create a noisy place, and too noisy a restaurant almost always misses the mark.
We go to restaurants, in large part, for the ability to leave the cooking, serving and cleaning to someone else. This gives us the opportunity to focus on our friends and family in a way we can’t when we’re entertaining at home. When we find ourselves shouting and straining to hear, the whole experience suffers. Whether coming from the other tables or from the busy street outside, noise pollution is a problem worth tackling.
Benefits of acoustic solutions for restaurants
Noise levels are brought up regularly in restaurant reviews. They usually come in the form of complaints, and ignoring the growing noise pollution problem in our restaurants will only lead to less than desirable reviews. In fact, a Zagat survey found noise to be the second most common complaint, behind only poor service. But what can you do about it? The two obvious sources of noise pollution are the outside noise that creeps into the restaurant and the voices coming from other tables. But it doesn’t end there. There are also unavoidable noise sources like the HVAC system, kitchen sounds, and the volume of the music many restaurants provide. So many contributing factors have easy solutions if you know what you’re looking for. If you’re wondering what kind of noisy restaurant solutions are out there, Acoustical Surfaces, Inc. would be happy to blow your mind.
Restaurant reverberation time
In order to come up with realistic acoustic solutions for restaurants, professionals in the industry can measure something called reverberation time. Basically, this is the amount of time it takes for sound to drop 60 decibels after the source of the sound has stopped. If your reverberation time is too long, it can create an environment that’s too “live”, which can lead to people talking ever louder just to be heard. No one wants to lose their voice or strain to hear their friends on a night out. If your reverberation time is too slow, it can create a “dead” environment, and people may not talk much at all for fear of everyone hearing. This is no good either. You have to find a suitable target for your reverberation time. Different rooms have different acoustics and targets, and the one that is chosen really depends on whether the restaurant wants to cultivate a quiet, intimate atmosphere, or a more energetic one.
Interior design and acoustic materials
When we think about our perfect reverberation time, making some simple changes to the way we view acoustic interior design can keep customers happy. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of acoustic ceiling panels for restaurants that transform traditionally hard surfaces into sound absorbers. You can also choose from many different kinds of restaurant acoustic panels that can hang either from the ceiling or on the wall, and will look great with any theme you’re going for. Artwork can be printed on sound-absorbing panels to add acoustic value to your decor. You can even build walls with sound-absorbing panels, colored with acoustically transparent paint, allowing your hard surfaces to become soft and absorbent. Things like designer acoustical curtains can pull double duty, as they act as a barrier for the windows, which are both hard, reflective surfaces and one of the main portals for the entry of outside noise. With the selection available today, there’s really nothing holding you back from creating the design you want, without sacrificing acoustic integrity. Most of these products can be customized to your particular taste, and the aesthetic value will be as high as the acoustic value. Round out the decor with some products to silence your HVAC system, and you’re in business.
Starting your own restaurant business or reviving the existing
The main advantage to creating a space from scratch is simply the fact that there are a few more options out there, and it’s easier to utilize more sound absorbers for restaurants in your walls, floors, and ceilings than when renovating an existing restaurant, but you can absolutely retrofit an existing space to handle sound in a much more flattering way. Finding the perfect balance of soft and hard surfaces will make your space an infinitely more enjoyable place to be. Acoustic materials in interior design should be on the top of any detail-oriented mind.