Who doesn’t love sitting down to a meal in a fancy restaurant with the dulcet tones of a lawnmower ringing in their ears?
In a room with poor acoustics, this isn’t far from the case.
Studies show that repeated exposure to a decibel count of 85 or more can have significant detrimental impacts on your hearing.
A typical conversation usually measures around 60 decibels, but reverberated sound can be so prominent in a poorly designed space that it pushes the decibel count close to that of a lawnmower (around 90).
Add in music, coffee machines, and the inevitable crinkle of paracetamol blister packs and you have the recipe to turn any place of hospitality into a jarring cacophony of hostility.
On top of the safety of staff and patrons, excessive noise is among the most common reasons people do not want to return to a restaurant or café.
There’s a fine line between an atmospheric buzz and an uncomfortable level of noise, and recent trends in architecture and interior design are making it harder to achieve the right level of acoustics.
Dining establishments were once typically adorned with plush seating and curtains, table cloths, plants, artwork and elaborate table settings. These busy spaces naturally absorbed much more noise than today’s typical minimalist layout.
Restaurants, cafes and bars are increasingly opting for more open spaces like converted warehouses and churches, but the design of these buildings combined with the shift towards sparsely decorated modern interiors results in higher reverberation and much louder dining areas.
Addressing the issue is far from simple, though. Larger spaces with high ceilings pose logistical issues in installing acoustic solutions, while some treatments can clash with a room’s design.
Luckily, there is a growing range of sound-absorbing materials available in a colour, shape, size and application to suit any space. Here are five options to reduce reverberation in your restaurant or café:
The super-modern Quietspace Lattice suspends from the ceiling to soak up excessive noise. Available in three visually-striking designs, you can make your dining area quieter without sacrificing bold aesthetics.
Quietspace Ceiling Tiles
For a more subtle acoustic solution, Quietspace Ceiling Tiles are available in 15 colours, giving you the option of a single-colour treatment or more complex pattern. The simple design also allows for a full-ceiling solution.
Peel ‘n’ Stick Panels
The easiest way to instantly lower reverberation in your space, Peel ‘n’ Stick Panels are installed exactly how it sounds – peel back the film and stick straight to your walls! With so many colours to choose from, you can mix and match to create a design that you and your customers will love!
Quietspace 3D Acoustic Tiles
3D Acoustic Tiles are lightweight and easy to install on your walls or ceilings, lowering deflected noise to a comfortable level. Available in wave, prism, pyramid, sphere, brick and splice designs, these stylish tiles let you create an impressive feature wall and improve acoustics with one product!
Cascade Hanging Screens
Perfect to break up open-plan environments and create privacy in busy hospitality areas, the Cascade Hanging Screens fall elegantly from your ceiling and help to drastically lower noise levels. The screens feature geometric 3D patterns and come in a range of colours.
While there are several factors involved in optimising the acoustics of restaurants and cafés, there is a solution available to suit your space – no matter the layout or design. Not only can they reduce health risks to your staff and patrons, but also make for a brighter and more comfortable atmosphere for everyone.
Check out our dedicated Acoustics Page!