Why Restaurants Are So Loud (Before Covid)

RubyK

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota USA
This is a big problem for me because I cannot talk very loudly. It is a problem also for my brother who wears hearing aids. I haven't been out to eat for a while, obviously. But I am always looking for a quieter place where I can enjoy a good meal.

This article explains the reasons for the loud music. Probably some of them don't want repeat customers. (sarcasm)

Loud Restaurants
 

tbeltrans

Senior Member
It is the same problem we would have in a band. The solution in that case was to run everybody through the mixing board and let the sound person control the individual and overall volume. With large groups of people, there is no such solution that I know of. If everybody kept their voices down, then we wouldn't have the problem at all.

The problem is that with everybody talking, each person feels that if s/he just speaks louder, the other person can hear him or her better. The problem is that everybody thinks that same thing at the same time so we end up with everybody trying to talk over everybody else. It is stupid, but we all do it.

What is really dumb is places that have loud music that everybody then must compete with, making for a real noisy mess.

Often, restaurants, or especially fast food places with indoor seating, will create an atmosphere on purpose specifically to cause people to not stay long so the restaurant can run people through as quickly as possible, maximizing revenue. In a noisy atmosphere, people usually don't want to just sit there and visit.

Tony
 

Murrmurr

Senior Member
This is a big problem for me because I cannot talk very loudly. It is a problem also for my brother who wears hearing aids. I haven't been out to eat for a while, obviously. But I am always looking for a quieter place where I can enjoy a good meal.

This article explains the reasons for the loud music. Probably some of them don't want repeat customers. (sarcasm)

Loud Restaurants
If you stick to restaurants that advertise "ambience" you will enjoy a peaceful meal but you'll probably pay a little extra for the pleasure.
 

MrPants

Member
Location
Iqaluit
We have one really nice (and expensive) restaurant here in Iqaluit called The Granite Room in the Discovery hotel. Food is top rate as is the ambiance. Overlooks the ice-flow and diners are often treated to a northern lights show as they dine. Very quiet place where you can dine and actually have great conversation with guests. No wall of TV's or annoying music disrupting guests. Mind you, you pretty much gotta take a mortgage out to dine there lol.
On the other hand, one of the other more popular places in town to eat is called Yummy Shawarma 😬
 

JonDouglas

Member
Location
New England
Excessive noise is certainly bad for your health, if not attitude, and the two biggest culprits I've noticed are chain restaurants and jerks on Harley motorcycles with loud mufflers (i.e., most of them). The noisiest restaurant we encountered around here was Texas Roadhouse. We don't do chains anymore. When traveling, I always ask multiple people, "Where is the best place to get a good, quiet meal?" with emphasis on "quiet".
 

tbeltrans

Senior Member
@tbeltrans ~ People do talk louder when the music is too loud. I've asked the managers of many restaurants to lower the music. Some do and others don't. The article I posted in the O.P. describes the various reasons eating establishments are so noisy.
Yes, the article says a number of things, some of which I agree with and some that just seem ... strange to me.

In general, people seem to like LOUD. Loud music, distorted guitars, screaming vocals, and slamming/pounding drums. It is everywhere, and has been for years. I don't understand it at all. When I was growing up, groups actually had bragging rights for being the loudest and most distorted with walls of amplifiers behind them. The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and on and on.

Even country music has joined the fray. The only way I can tell it is country music is the Southern accents of the singers. That seems to be an important element even if the singer isn't from the South. This music now has distorted guitars, screaming lead lines, and pounding drums indistinguishable from rock. If people weren't willing to pay for this, over time the trend would die out.

So having loud music where people congregate seems in line with that long time trend of music in general. It all seems incredibly silly to me, but then I know I am in a very small minority.

Tony
 

needshave

Member
Location
Ohio
Most restaurants are very loud. I own a restaurant. One of the reason they are as so loud are the surfaces dictated by the health department. They are hard, washable and cleanable surfaces. Typically when you have that hard surface on all four surface of a room, tables, chairs, including equipment, etc. there is nothing there to absorb the noise. The slightest sound bounces off every surface and it snow balls. Add a band or music that needs to compete with that harsh constant sound and they must get very loud to over come it, then the people in attendance talk louder to over come the band and it becomes a vicious circle.
 

hollydolly

SF VIP
Location
London England
Most restaurants are very loud. I own a restaurant. One of the reason they are as so loud are the surfaces dictated by the health department. They are hard, washable and cleanable surfaces. Typically when you have that hard surface on all four surface of a room, tables, chairs, including equipment, etc. there is nothing there to absorb the noise. The slightest sound bounces off every surface and it snow balls. Add a band or music that needs to compete with that harsh constant sound and they must get very loud to over come it, then the people in attendance talk louder to over come the band and it becomes a vicious circle.
yep that's exactly right.. so if you want to have a quieter meal, then folks need to look for a restaurant that has covered seating, carpets... etc...
 

Packerjohn

Packerjohn
Location
Canada
This is a big problem for me because I cannot talk very loudly. It is a problem also for my brother who wears hearing aids. I haven't been out to eat for a while, obviously. But I am always looking for a quieter place where I can enjoy a good meal.

This article explains the reasons for the loud music. Probably some of them don't want repeat customers. (sarcasm)

Loud Restaurants
The noise & bad music made me hate restaurants. I usually walk right out when I walk in & don't like the volume or what they are playing. I take my money elsewhere.
 

Lewkat

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey, USA
We have one really nice (and expensive) restaurant here in Iqaluit called The Granite Room in the Discovery hotel. Food is top rate as is the ambiance. Overlooks the ice-flow and diners are often treated to a northern lights show as they dine. Very quiet place where you can dine and actually have great conversation with guests. No wall of TV's or annoying music disrupting guests. Mind you, you pretty much gotta take a mortgage out to dine there lol.
On the other hand, one of the other more popular places in town to eat is called Yummy Shawarma 😬
How about the Smokehouse Bar, Mr. Pants. Any good. I see you have a Tim Horton's as well and I am jealous.
 

Packerjohn

Packerjohn
Location
Canada
Excessive noise is certainly bad for your health, if not attitude, and the two biggest culprits I've noticed are chain restaurants and jerks on Harley motorcycles with loud mufflers (i.e., most of them). The noisiest restaurant we encountered around here was Texas Roadhouse. We don't do chains anymore. When traveling, I always ask multiple people, "Where is the best place to get a good, quiet meal?" with emphasis on "quiet".
Smart Man! That is exactly what we used to do. We would pull into a town & ask someone that is local where the best place to eat in town? The locals always know and are always happy to tell you. We would add too that we don't want a chain nor where the tourists go (usually right along the highway as they are too rushed or perhaps to lazy to drive into town & check out a unique restaurant).
 

JonDouglas

Member
Location
New England
Smart Man! That is exactly what we used to do. We would pull into a town & ask someone that is local where the best place to eat in town? The locals always know and are always happy to tell you. We would add too that we don't want a chain nor where the tourists go (usually right along the highway as they are too rushed or perhaps to lazy to drive into town & check out a unique restaurant).
Yup, and I should add that some of the very best places we've eaten were not what you'd call classy on the outside. I've had many a great meal at "hole in the wall" restaurants, especially for breakfast. Small town diners are often great for breakfast and tasty "comfort food" like meatloaf and gravy. By contrast, the fanciest and quietest meal I ever ate was in Brussels at La Maison du Cygne, which is the only thing I have in common with Karl Marx, who also liked the place back in the day. That said, I still prefer to roll up on the bike to some mom and pop diner and eat there.
 

MrPants

Member
Location
Iqaluit
How about the Smokehouse Bar, Mr. Pants. Any good. I see you have a Tim Horton's as well and I am jealous.
It's the Storehouse you're referring to I believe. I've never been but I understand from others it's OK. Seems to me like your average sports bar sort of thing and it's always super expensive to eat out here so I avoid it mostly. There is a Pizza Hut here which I order take out from occasionally. I make my own coffee and don't care for Tims food much so rarely visit.
 

Jules

Senior Member
Location
N of 49
I also detest public places that have music playing too loud. I find myself eating faster and almost choking when it has a LOUD atmosphere. I am not kidding you.
If we can talk to each other, it’s not worth being there. We were in early in a fairly large place and it was basically empty. We were in the bar area (avoiding kids) and requested they turn the music down a bit until after supper hour. No. Never have returned there again.
 

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