Don’t Overlook Your Restaurant’s Acoustics
There are so many factors to consider when designing or refurbishing your restaurant. Not surprisingly, it is easy to overlook some of the less apparent but extremely important issues. This guide will point out the vital role that acoustics play in the operation of your restaurant and the potential sources of unwanted noise.
Understand the Importance of Good Acoustics
The acoustics in a restaurant have a direct effect on the safety of the employees. They can cause workplace noise level code violations, discourage customers from returning and require costly correction procedures if not given due consideration. The noise level within the restaurant and surrounding environment needs careful attention.
Recognize the Potential Noise Sources
The special layout, shape of walls, ceiling height and construction materials all influence the level of noise, but there are also other common sources of noise.
The Restaurant Kitchen
The poplar trend today for incorporating the kitchen into the main dining area, is to make it noticeable and open to patrons. Unfortunately, this not only makes it visible, but audible. The kitchen noise with the banging and clanging of cookware, cutlery and platters, together with the kitchen staff, adds considerably to noise levels.
Having an enclosed kitchen is the best solution for noise mitigation. However, if this is not a preference you will require acoustic materials to block sound and some professional advice concerning the appropriate materials.
Considerable noise can emanate from the diners chatter and merriment, particularly if they need to raise their voices to make themselves heard. The reverberation and reflection of sound causes the increase in noise levels. Providing a quieter setting will encourage quieter conversation and help reduce the amount of noise. This is where the specialized knowledge of sound absorbing materials and the science of acoustics is extremely valuable.
Often, restaurant clients tend to be vociferous in certain active areas of the venue. The waiting area and bar are common examples. If these are close to the dining area, the noise levels can be particularly high.
Most restaurants play background music to provide ambience and enhance the atmosphere. It can also help to mask the sounds of air conditioning or undesirable plumbing reverberations. However, often it may be adding more noise to an already reflective and echo prone environment.
Many restaurants occupy multi-tenanted buildings and the noise from adjacent occupants can be transmitted through the walls.
Consider the Outside Environment
Not only do you need to consider the levels inside, but there is also the surrounding environment to contemplate. Your restaurant needs operate without impacting the neighboring properties and nearby thoroughfares.
Now that you have a better understanding of potential noise sources in your restaurant you may be able to avoid some of the pitfalls. However, you are well advised to seek professional assistance in the early stages of your planning. Understanding the scientific principles of sound transmission is a task for experienced professionals. Acoustical consultants such as Pollution Control Consultancy and Design can identify potential problem areas and have expert solutions for noise mitigation.