Why Acoustic Foam is Bad for Restaurants

Loud noisy restaurants drive repeat business away and threaten the long term success to the restaurant owner.  Once a restaurant gets tagged as being too “noisy”, the stigma is hard to shake.   Smart restaurant owners will take steps to lower the excessive levels of noise, protecting their customers, and their long term success to their business.

Sound panels are great for capturing and converting noise levels out of a restaurant.   But too often, restaurant owners are lured into making wrong decisions.  Chief among them is acoustic foam.  Why is acoustic foam bad for restaurant space?   Two reasons.

First, acoustic foam is great for controlling echoes, yes, but it is a chemically based product, which means over time, it will flake out, crumble, and spew dust particles out into the ventilation system.  And who wants to dine in an environment where foam particles are circulating over your food?   Even for those owners who have be misled into thinking foam panels under their table tops and chairs will control noise levels (which is also a false premise…the panels have to be exposed to the room to work)…the foam particles will still dust out into the room.

Second, acoustic foam is not class A fire rated.  No.  You should not see foam panels anywhere in a restaurant, not on the walls, or the ceiling, or under the tables.   If you do, tell the server to tell the owner, acoustic foam belongs in a drum booth, a broadcast studio, a recording studio, but not a public space.  Not a school, not a church, not a hospital, and certainly not a restaurant.

There ARE quality sound panels well suited for restaurant space.  If you need a source for panels that do not flake out dust particles, and are class A fire rated, check www.PicturePanels.com or call the help desk at NetWell Noise Control.  1-800-638-9355.

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