So, how do you maintain the right acoustics for your business?
As one the UK’s leading restaurant refurbishment contractors, we’re frequently asked for advice on how to soundproof a room. We look at every aspect of your building’s design to evaluate the effect these have on your acoustics. From the wall insulation to the thickness of its windows, we’ll make suggestions to help curb the volume in your premises.
Looking to improve your restaurant acoustics? Try some of these tried-and-tested sound-proofing techniques.
Use noise-control glass for your windows
Good food, drink and conversation can all take its toll on the ambient noise within your four walls. However, you should also think about the noise volume outside of your premises too.
If you’re located in a busy high street or on a main road, chances are that the noise from outside makes it into your restaurant. Whether it’s car horns, radios or engines, if you’re near a road, you’ll know about it. So, take our advice and make extra provisions to keep the outside, well, out.
Acoustic laminated glass windows are frequently used to soundproof hotel rooms – where a good nights’ sleep is essential. These are windows that block out sound via specially-designed interlayers which sound waves reflect off, to provide a better overall acoustic insulation performance.
Bonus tip: Soundproof window treatments, such as curtains made from sound-absorbing material, can also help with reducing the ambient noise from outside – and in. Glass reflects sound waves so it stands to reason that you’ll need something, like thick curtains, to help dampen the noise.
Add noise-dampening insulation
Noise-dampening or sound-control insulation won’t just keep your neighbours happy, it’ll also help with the acoustics in your restaurant.
Soundproofing interior walls – particularly those separating your restaurant’s kitchen and dining room – can provide a welcome barrier between the hubbub of your kitchen machinery and your diners. Search online for soundproof paint, plasterboard and tiles, or just ask ASF for some suggestions.
Bonus tip: Textile wall-hangings are all the rage at the moment – and by hopping on this bandwagon, you can also help to curb the noise emitted in your dining room. In much the same way as curtains absorb sound, wall hangings made from thick material can act as a soundproofing-barrier between rooms.
Reduce your ceiling height
Strange but true, lowering your ceiling height with soundproof ceiling tiles can help to reduce the decibels in your dining room.
If you’ve ever dined in a historic building, whether it’s high tea in a National Trust property or a fancy-schmancy Tasting Menu in the city, you’ll know all too well how the clatter of cutlery can be deafening in these huge, high-vaulted rooms. This is largely to do with the ceiling height which carries, and seemingly magnifies, even inconsequential noises around the room.
Bonus tip: If you’re not so keen on reducing your ceiling height, material drapes can provide a useful, not to mention stylish, fodder for your acoustics.
Leave enough room between tables
Although it’s tempting to cram in as many covers as you can in your restaurant, make sure that you leave enough room between tables – ideally 52 inches or 60 if your servers need to squeeze past.
Leaving adequate space between tables will not only give your diners a reprieve from being overheard, it’ll give their neighbours the quiet they’ll need to get on with their own conversation.
Bonus tip: Low lighting over tables can create an intimate, conspiratorial atmosphere which could encourage diners to speak in hushed tones. Keep background music to a reasonable level so there’s no need to shout over the melodies.
For more advice about how to improve your restaurant acoustics, get in touch with fit-out experts ASF.