How to reduce noise in a restaurant ?

This question frequently arises for collective catering spaces ; not only in school, university or business canteens or in fast food restaurants (they are then mainly frequented for food), but also in other places where we go to combine business (eat and drink) with pleasure: i.e. by having a good time e.g. with family, or with friends, even alone (if the circumstances impose it or else if you have made this choice) in a brasserie, cafe or pub, or in a restaurant: with or without distinction in the specialized guides, about which it is clear that they do not always inform enough than desirable on the soundscape of the places they list.

Because there are many culinary establishments in which the acoustic comfort leaves a lot to be desired, which is often the source of an increase in noise, in particular due to the difficulties experienced by the occupants (guests or employees e.g. those assigned to room service) to be heard.

In addition, the noises linked to the handling (even delicate, but how to avoid shocks ?) of cutlery, glasses, plates, dishes, decanters and bottles and those linked to traffic (of staff and users e.g. when they require the movement of chairs or armchairs - the problem also arises for stools -) are sometimes unduly amplified, to the point of being perceived as very unpleasant or even aggressive (and it is not only those who have good hearing to complain about, then).

Not to mention the unbearable presence of music (a fortiori: if amplified) when the dining room is unsuitable for such use, due to the lack of a fitting design or layout.

From all this it can result in a restaurant hubbub not conducive to discussions (even less: to listening to musical recordings or to the performance of an orchestra) and, in the more or less long term, unfavorable to attendance (you sometimes have only one desire: to get out as quickly as possible and never come back), mouth then often doing its job, through the grapevine.

  • in such situations, a deficit in materials that absorb sound sufficiently at the mid and high frequencies (i.e. in the frequency bands centered on 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz where the noise emissions in relation to speech are countered) is often involved.

How to reduce noise in a restaurant in this case ?

It is then necessary to clad walls and ceiling (not necessarily entirely: in the case of vertical walls, the presence of large bay windows, if they often provide visual comfort - a fortiori if the exterior is suitable - is sometimes a problem anyway) soundproofing devices, which are generally in the form of plates or panels, which can be installed vertically or horizontally (or even: following the slope of a roof, if necessary), or even: which can be suspended, with more or less sophisticated forms.

It may be noted that the installation of a carpet (having, generally, a sound absorption coefficient at best equal to 0.1) can also constitute a remedy, when it comes to limiting the reverberation of a catering premises with a view to limiting noise.

  • moreover, the absence of separations between tables (a fortiori if they are brought together, sometimes to the point of leading to an overpopulation of space which, then, limits improvements in terms of acoustics) can constitute an aggravating circumstance for the the noise discomfort, when nothing prevents (sufficiently) the propagation of noise from a table to the neighboring tables.

How to reduce noise in a restaurant in this case ?

The implementation of screens (dividers) having a functionality in terms of soundproofing (they must not be openwork and they must have a sufficient mass density) makes it possible to compensate for this lack, the choice of products (also) with performance in terms of sound absorption (i.e. for their capacity not to reflect sound waves) being of course more than recommended.

When it comes to how to reduce noise in a restaurant, you can consult Isolation Technologie Services (ITS) to obtain, after a contextual study, optimized solutions.