by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
This Denver Post article correctly makes the point that patrons don’t want a too noisy restaurant but they don’t want a too quiet one, either.
There is a fine balance between ambient noise levels that allow one to converse with your dining companions, but are loud or complex enough to mask conversations from nearby tables.
And the quality of the noise–is it sharp, tinkling, reverberating?–also makes a difference in the restaurant experience.
The article also notes that it’s hard to design the right sound environment into the restaurant and that adjustments are often needed after a restaurant opens.
DISCLOSURE: The article mentions the SoundPrint app for measuring restaurant noise. I serve as the Medical Advisor to SoundPrint.
Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He serves on the board of the American Tinnitus Association, is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’s Health Advisory Council, and is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America.