Improving restaurant acoustics is a necessity when noise is a subject of recrimination:
- from the clientele, if it is led to consider that the sound environment is not sufficiently conducive to discussions (whatever the context: business meals, with family, friends ...) for which intelligibility and confidentiality are often desired or even not calm enough to fully enjoy a moment of relaxation (possibly: with music, amplified or not), and sometimes fun (if the table is intended to accommodate gastronomy fans)
- from the staff, if they are subject to excessive fatigue, in relation to what the quality of their service may be felt
Starred according the rating of a prestigious guidebook or not, a restaurant for which it is desired appropriate reception conditions for its customers (sometimes: with the desire to retain them) must have a minimum acoustic quality (even if it is a canteen - a refectory - where users are often captives).
Because otherwise, each one raising his voice to be heard, the resulting sound atmosphere can be appreciated very negatively, especially if the reverberation of the considered restauration space leads to an excessive amplification of traffic noise (passing, chairs movements) and those related to the accessories of the Art of the table (e.g. plates, glasses, cutlery).
It must be said that some architectural biases in vogue e.g. large windows, walls and floors made of concrete do not help (if nothing else is specifically planned) to obtain the acoustic comfort desirable for a place with this destination when they focus on hard surfaces, to which one can associate an aesthetic charm, but which reflect the sounds.
Improving restaurant acoustics generally requires the installation of sound-absorbing materials, especially at frequencies corresponding to human speech e.g. for which the absorption coefficient must be as close as possible to 1 (i.e. 100%) in the frequency band corresponding to the central frequency octave bands 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz.
These can be suspended ceilings (which can in some cases significantly reduce the ceiling height, which is generally favorable - all other things being equal - to the lowering of the reverberation time (what is a major indicator of the acoustical quality of a restaurant room) or wall-absorbing linings (e.g. with fabric surfacing, or with perforated wood protection) with regard to the existing limits of the catering space which is considered.
Elsewhere, additional absorbing elements of various shapes and designations (on the ground: totems, noise shields, sound screens, partition walls, for ceiling: suspended baffles, on the walls: acoustic items) can also contribute effectively to improving restaurant acoustics, also participating in its decoration.
As regards acoustic screens, their effect is not limited to allowing the introduction into the room of an additional surface of sound-absorbing materials: dividing the space, they contribute to limiting the propagation of noise, e.g. from a noisy table to the adjacent tables, in relation to the diffraction effect which is all the more beneficial for the limitation of the ambient noise (in terms of the reduction of the sound level and in terms of the spatial extent of its decrease) that the local is not very reverberant.
Improving restaurant acoustics is a problem for which ITS intervenes to carry out an on-site diagnosis and propose customized soundproofing solutions: the work carried out can be covered by a contracted result guarantee.