Have you ever thought about your favorite restaurant and why you choose to dine there more frequently than your other choices? If you list the top 10 locations within the same drive time from work or home, restaurants that offer the same premium food quality, at the same basic price points, what prompts you to rate one location over another?
Chances are good that it is the ambiance of the place, somewhere that makes you feel invited and comfortable. The same wait staff, the bartenders, the friends or family that share the common experience, the regulars who become your roster of friends from “Cheers”.
It is that ambiance that makes or breaks the frequency of the repeat client, and in turn, the long term viability of the restaurant. So what can be done to enhance that ambiance and best the competition in the world of dining out? The answer is to control the interior room acoustics.
Premium sound quality inside a restaurant will allow patrons to converse and dine in normal conversational tones, eliminating the need to elevate voices up and over the background noise in order to sustain conversation. Just one uncomfortable dining experience in a loud restaurant is enough to keep that client from ever returning. Care should be given to enhancing the dining experience by enhancing the acoustic values in the room.
In today’s world of soundproofing a restaurant, the sound panel has become an art form. Whether designing a panel system for a new space, or retrofitting to an existing, today’s acoustic panels are built to disguise into cavity spaces unnoticed, or become centerpieces visually in the form of beautifully painted murals that double as sound boards. Today’s sound panel market is being tapped to brand restaurant space visually as well as acoustically.
The next time you’re in your favorite restaurant, look around. You will first notice the hard reflective surfaces that a typical restaurant is built with. Granite, tile, block, brick, wood, glass tin and marble are common surfaces. They are beautiful and cleanable, but terrible for bouncing sound. These surfaces combine to absorb an average 5% of the echoes in the room. That means 95% of the echoes will combine to elevate background noise and force the strain in your conversation.
Sound panels are able to absorb up to 80% of the same level of echo. For restaurants properly retrofitted with sound panels, the background noise drops to comfortable levels, as the strain in conversation disappears. The comfort is restored to the repeat customer’s dining experience. The next time you’re in your favorite restaurant, look around, most often to the ceiling, and you just might see a set of sound panels there making your dining experience all that more enjoyable.