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robert brown

Noisy Restaurants

85 posts in this topic

"-----Also RE dcarch's comment about there not being many ways to keep noise down in a room - there are quite a lot, ----"

 

Let me put it in another way. Yes there is very effective way to cut down noise, but there is a problem you cannot change.

 

​In the science of hearing and acoustics, the problem is that our hearing sensibility is logarithmic in response.

 

Our hearing can detect a change in sound level every 3 dbs; however, every 3 dbs, it represents a 100% in acoustic power. In other words, if you manage to lower the noise somewhat, you need to cut the noise energy by 100%.

 

In reverse, 1 watt of power can give you acceptable music loudness, why do you need a 500 watt amplifier?  because 2 watts is a little louder, 4 watts, slightly louder, 8 watts, 16 watts, 32 watts ----------.

 

The factors I mentioned are the most effective, but not practical ways to control noise in a restaurant environment.

 

dcarch

Restaurant noise is a strong feedback look though, as diners in a loud restaurant will shout to be heard, making the overall noise even louder. So even small changes in design can have big changes in the resulting sound level.


PS: I am a guy.

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Not off topic at all. I am pointing out that noisy restaurant is not designed to be noisy because it is good for business. 

 

And I am repeating more than once: 

 

1. retail commercial rental is extremely expensive, they have to pack as many tables as possible in the dinning room.

 

2. When you pack people close, the inverse square law of energy disputation works against you. Every time you half the distance, I think you increase 6 DBs (I need to check, doing by memory)

 

3. Sound absorption is not that effective in a small enclosure.  If someone is yelling near you, you can have 10 tons of absorption around you and will do you no good. Again, all surfaces in a restaurant need to be maintained well. I am not sure what acoustic material is washable.

 

"2-3dB is the threshold that most people can perceive a change in loudness, but a doubling of loudness is a 10dB increase, not 3. "

 

Please read what I said.  I said 3 db is doubling acoustic power, not doubling loudness.

 

dcarch

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If the food is so boring as to make "noise" is a distraction...maybe it's not the best restaurant.  :smile:


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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That article is full of errors, which is to be expected. Generally acoustic is a very difficult science, a typical writer will not be able to understand what are truths and what are myths.

 

For instance:

 

As far as I know, it is impossible to have practical "sound-absorbent paint".

 

There are effective noise canceling ear phones using electronics, and noise reducing equipment for rooms for repetitive (machine) noise control, but I am not sure there are ways to control random noise in a room packed with noisy customers. 

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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I know how to control the noise. Its really old tech.

 

1. Keep the damn music lower.

 

2. Carpet as much as you can. Doesn't have to be everything, there's still room for design and concept and such.

 

3. Pad the ceiling.

 

The real issue is the restaurant has to care about the issue and not just nod at it.  I'd love to see some proof that noisy = profitable.

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I know how to control the noise. Its really old tech.

 

1. Keep the damn music lower.

 

2. Carpet as much as you can. Doesn't have to be everything, there's still room for design and concept and such.

 

3. Pad the ceiling.

 

The real issue is the restaurant has to care about the issue and not just nod at it.  I'd love to see some proof that noisy = profitable.

 

Again, it is very expensive real estate costs for a good retail locations. There is a need to pack people as close as possible.

 

Assuming you are in an open space, which is by definition 100% acoustic absorptive  (no reflected sound what so ever), if you pack people close together, they will still try to out shout each other.

 

The three most effective noise control methods, none practical: It has very little to do with design.

 

1. Tell people to shut up.

 

2. Acoustic barrier - A wall between noise sources.

 

3. Distance between noise sources. (inverse square law).

 

Noise control may be old tech, but the science of acoustics, an adiabatic thermodynamic process, is difficult to be understood.

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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I won't go back to a noisy restaurant.  There are simply too many choices available; just as I wouldn't go back to a restaurant with bad food, I don't have to endure that. 

Went to a nice restaurant with another couple and the din was so bad we could barely talk to each other, now that's just ridiculous!

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I've read some market research. Maybe I was directed to it by this thread? I'm not willing to revisit it, but it seems to support that the Madison Avenue overpaid suits think that young folks are attracted to a crowded, noisy environment, and are more willing to spend their over-abundant bucks in them. I don't even dispute it. When I was young, I also liked those surroundings.

 

Now I really don't at all. I love peace and quiet while I enjoy a meal, and seek those kinds of restaurants out.

 

adey73,

 

Since we are going there, I will qualify the loudest restaurant patrons I have ever experienced as Latin Americans. I have a favorite El Salvadoran restaurant for the food, but I can't really eat there. They blast TV's, the kids run around screaming with NO supervision, and the adults yell at each other over the din. I get takeout and adore it. The pupusas and huarachachas are favorites. They offer cabeza, tripa, salichicha, lengua, barbacoa de res o chivo, asada, many more, and the best carnitas I've had. I just can't eat in. 

 

I have a more mainstream Mexican or maybe Tex-Mex place that is quiet, but sometimes they have mariachi musicians that come tableside and muted Latina musica over a sound system. Booths are deep and comfortable, and patrons are much more subdued, enjoying their dinners and minding their kids. This is where we eat in. Major bonus: it's the only place in town to find hanger steak, which is my favorite behind perhaps a good rib eye.

 

There's room in the world for the young folks' restaurants, of course, but if I'm eating in, please bring on the peace.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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A recent NYT article might be relevant to this discussion:

 

Restaurants Take the Din Out of Dining

 

From the article, "...Some diners will always be drawn to places where the music seems to be coming from the main stage at Coachella and dialogue proceeds at the sore-throat volume one would expect on a battlefield…."

 

"This seems to be a real trend with the restaurant people we’re talking to,” Ms. Meyer (co-owner of Meyer Sound, which develops systems to fine tune acoustic environments) said. “The idea is to make a really comfortable environment.”

 

"...Bay Area restaurants have noticed that such a granular level of acoustic comfort entices diners to stay longer, drink more and spend extra money…"  

 

The article says acoustic treatments can, "cost anywhere from the high five figures to half a million dollars," but they also refer to more low tech solutions such as an observation that a particular knife had a tendency to fall off plates being cleared and generated significant clatter.  Solution - train servers not to drop knives  :laugh: Really!  

 

In reference to Ken Friedman of the Spotted Pig, "Originally, he wanted to lure people through the front door with the promise of a high-volume happening; now he’s more concerned with making sure they come back, and acoustic restraint plays a part in that.  Toning down the din, he has discovered, has its pleasures.  It just gets to the point where I’m sick of yelling,” he said."

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