Brits complain that minimalist decor and loud music are driving them away from restaurants. Action on Hearing Loss, a British charity, has conducted a survey in which they found that “90 per cent of people with hearing difficulties felt background noise was the biggest problem they faced when eating out.” The survey also found that “79 per cent of [respondents] said they had left an establishment early because of the sound levels and 91 per cent of those asked said they wouldn’t go back to a noisy venue.”
Not mentioned in the article is the theory that restauranteurs deliberately play loud music in an attempt to scare away older customers, since these restauranteurs must all covet a younger crowd that presumably loves stereocilia-destroying music. If true, they will no doubt ignore the advice offered in the articl to temper the loud volume, but they should not ignore the warning noted in the piece. Namely, Action on Hearing Loss “is now hoping to develop an app which will allow people to take a decibel recording for restaurants, posting it onto a forum and allowing people to avoid particularly noisy establishments.”
New Yorkers already have a tool they can use to help them avoid mind-numbingly loud restaurants. Our sister site, Quiet City Maps, reviews noise levels of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, parks and privately owned public spaces throughout the city. Click on the link to read the reviews and to check out the map, which shows you the good, the bad, and the ugly with easy to understand color icons. A mobile app is in the works, so please send any suggestions of (relatively) quiet places their way.