There are plenty of things to take into account when you're designing a restaurant, but there is one thing that people often fail to consider: the acoustics. Unfortunately, this can be a real problem. You might not consider the acoustics of a room particularly important, but restaurants will be full of people all speaking at once, and you might even have music playing in the background.
This can result in a noisy environment in which people at each table have to struggle to make themselves heard. Here are just five ways to prevent that from happening.
1. Use Sound-Deadening Panels
When you think of sound-deadening panels, you probably think of those odd-looking foam panels used in sound studios to provide soundproofing. You'll then probably despair at the idea of putting such eyesores in your restaurant. Luckily enough, you can buy sound-deadening panels covered in soft material that are designed to look more like decorations than anything else. In fact, using them well can even enhance your establishment's style, and diners will never know they are being used to reduce noise.
2. Use Carpet
Hard surfaces are often preferred in restaurants due to their aesthetic advantages and the fact that they are easy to keep clean. However, they also bounce sound around the room more easily than carpet, so consider using carpeting if you can. If you cannot use it across the whole room, try at least using carpeting across high-traffic areas.
3. Use Curtains
People don't often know that glass reflects sound, so restaurants with several large windows need to be careful. Using sound-absorbing curtains can work if there is no particularly fine view to be seen outside, but you can also have your windows specially treated to ensure that guests can still look through them.
4. Use Soft Furnishings
When you're deciding on furniture, remember that it's best to use softer materials. Chairs that are covered with fabric, for example, can be more advantageous than those made of bare wood or plastic. You can also use softening coverings yourself, such as tablecloths across wooden tables.
5. Use an Acoustical Consultant
All of the tips listed above can be used to make your restaurant less noisy, but the best thing by far is to hire an acoustical consultant. They will be able to inspect your space and determine exactly what is causing excess noise and how to treat the problem. From where to position sound-deadening panels to how to arrange the furniture, they'll understand how to make your establishment more tranquil.