A Case Study in Restaurant Acoustics

Harwood on Hudson is an upscale restaurant situated along the Hudson River in Greeenwich Village, New York.   Owner Bill Block reached out to NetWell Noise Control through their website, seeking help and guidance on resolving the noise issues his customers were experiencing in the dining room.   Mr. Block owns several eateries in New York, and was hopeful that his Harwood on Hudson location could receive some kind of retrofit sound panel treatment to help control the noise levels and secure a safe space for his repeat customers.

What was explained to Mr. Block was that most restaurants are designed for cosmetics and clean-ability, which helps explain the wood, glass, tin, marble, brick, block, concrete and drywall surfaces that typically comprise the makeup of any restaurant.   The problem with the surface textures introduced is that they combine to absorb an average of 5% of the reflected sounds generated in the space.   That means 95% of the noise generated will continue to bang around inside the room, disrupting conversion, and generating a stressful environment for dining and communication.   After all, isn’t the purpose for dining out to experience both good food AND good conversation? Of course!

NetWell Noise Control responded with the notion of placing a set of acoustic panels into the ceiling of the Hudson on Harwood restaurant.   The treatment, if done right, will effectively capture up to 80% of the unwanted sound wave reflections in the room, while allowing Mr. Block to preserve the look, feel, ambiance and existing surface textures that comprise the perimeter wall, ceiling and floor plans.   Nothing else would have to be one to the room, if the correct sound management system were properly defined and installed into the room.   NetWell introduced Mr. Block to the premium acoustic values triggered by Fabric Panels.

Fabric Panels are cloth wrapped sound panels that combine to absorb the unwelcome echoes in any room, generating a dramatic reduction in background noise, and producing premium sound quality and clarity back to conversation. The panels are class A fire rated, approved for use in any commercial setting, and are offered in 60 color options.   The key to the success of the soundproofing treatment is to ensure that appropriate coverage amounts are targeted for the restaurant based on the room’s size, shape and surface textures.   NetWell ran its famous Room Analysis to help determine the square footage of the Fabric Panel that will be needed in order to trigger the intended sound values back.

Knowing that human ear can tolerate up to 2.0 seconds worth of echo, and that any sound wave reflections that extend for a longer period of time will generate unwelcome background noise, blurred sound signals, and strained conversation over table tops, NetWell was able to target the right coverage amount of Fabric Panel for the Harwood on Hudson location based on the dimensions of the room.   The goal will be to capture up to 80% of the unwanted echoes, and force them to die within a 1.5-2.0 second time frame.   Once the echoes were cleaned up, the room will be restored to premium sound quality, and Mr. Block has a happy set of repeat customers.

As with most restaurant owners, the goal to control the noise in the space must also be met with a sound panel system that disguises nicely into the room.   Sound panels can not solve acoustic problems but also serve as an eyesore, so we need to ensure that we do not corrupt the design to the space.   Mr. Block took advantage of the free color swatch sample services offered by NetWell, which puts actual swatch samples of any of the colors into the customers hands so the appropriate colors can be ordered to have wrapped around the sound panels.   Mr. Block chose to wrap his panels in the color Claret Accent, and have them flush mounted to the ceiling above his dining area.   He also exercised his option to expedite the order, which guaranteed a 5 day production window prior to shipment, once the order was set and approved in NetWell’s system.

So within two weeks of making contact with NetWell, the Harwood on Hudson restaurant has solved their acoustic issues.   A set of sound panels were ordered, produced, shipped and installed by recessing flush mounted into the ceiling of the restaurant.   The color choice added an elegant look to the space, as if they panels were designed into the room ahead of time.   The sound values are not optimal, as the echoes have collapsed, and the customers are able to sit, relax, dine and converse in normal conversational tones.

If you have a restaurant filled with noise and are seeking a custom sound panel treatment for your space, NetWell Noise Control offers a complimentary Room Analysis for every new client, which will define and quote the treatment.   Call our help desk at 1-800-638-9355 and we will replicate the same acoustic values back for your space as we did for the Harwood on Hudson restaurant. Thank you to Mr. Bill Block for his business.

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