Restaurants: Why acoustics matter

Designing a restaurant is a challenge. Numerous factors have to be taken into account in order for the business to run smoothly. Most importantly you need satisfied customers that will soon be returning to enjoy the good service and atmosphere.

One of the most commonly overlooked factor in restaurant design, is acoustics. Acoustics play a vital role for the customer’s satisfaction, even if they are not themselves always aware of it. A poor sound environment will drive away potential customers and can result in costly reconstructions.

Critical factors that determine the acoustical environment in restaurants and cafes, are room size and construction materials. Proper treatment of the room’s surfaces will prevent the buildup of noise thus offering a comfortable environment for customers to effortlessly talk to each other. On the other hand, an extremely silent environment  does not provide privacy and gives a sense of emptiness to the place.

So, how much noise is “enough”?

Depending on the owner’s preferences, the ideal acoustic environment will support on-table communication, with a fair degree of privacy, and prevent excessive noise buildup by careful material selection.  At the same time it is vital to preserve a healthy amount of buzz in the room for it to retain an active, lively atmosphere.



Sources of noise

Kitchen: Modern designs incorporate their kitchen into the main restaurant causing intense noise. Proper acoustical design can lessen the effect on the sound environment.

Music: A carefully designed sound system assists in achieving privacy along with entertainment. In cases of poor design, music can hinder communication and contribute to noise build up.

Customers: If noise buildup is allowed to occur (reverberation) customers will try to overcome the level of noise in order to communicate. This leads to a cycle where increased speech level leads to more noise buildup and vice-versa.

Mechanical installations: A/c and fresh air systems are capable of transmitting high levels of disturbing noise. Silencing these systems at the design stage will save you money in the long run.


How we deal with restaurant acoustics for you:

  • PP03Acoustical measurements: Acoustical measurements are conducted to identify acoustical issues. (In
    cases of  new buildings to be built, we create a computer aided 3D acoustical model)
  • Acoustical design: Using a computer aided 3D acoustical model we simulate the acoustical behavior and we determine the right amount and type of materials to be used.
  • Report:  A report is issued containing all necessary drawings, guidelines and information.
  • Acoustical materials: Our network of acoustical materials providers ensure you get what’s right for you, without sacrificing aesthetics.