Why are restaurants louder than ever?


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/23/why-are-restaurants-louder-tha.html


This is especially frustrating the older you get and your hearing isn’t what it used to be.


Restaurateurs think loud music gives their restaurants a sense of “vibrancy and energy.”

It’s the cheap gold paint version of ambiance.


How do these Shutterstock photographers come up with ideas for photographs? Are there similar photographs for every profession yelling into a megaphone, just in case someone needs to use one?


Americans who love cats are not loud.


““Americans are loud.” Anyone who has spent time in other countries knows this to be true.”



It’s also a subtle way of getting you to eat fast and get the fuck out.


…If it is loud, diners will eat and GTFO, clearing the table for a new set of paying customers rather than lingering in conversation.


Actually…this place in Vegas https://barrymorelv.com/ is exceedingly quiet every time we have gone there. It’s a great place a little off the beaten path and has an amazing vibe. It’s very easy to speak in a normal voice and hear everyone.

And thene there are places like this (also in Vegas)…https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-laundry-room-las-vegas It is a modern day speakeasy inside the Commonwealth. One of the specific rules is to keep your voices down.



Not so loud, please.


That list misses the most meaningful reason: You’re aging rapidly.


This isn’t a new problem. It probably, like sound, comes in waves. Ruth Riechl at the New York Times used to rant about noisy restaurants back in the 1980s. She started including the noise level in the review summary.


Or like my wife with the tinnitus. There ARE quiet restaurants, and its a competitive business; choose only quiet ones and send the economic message through the miracle of the free market.
Or if you want to communicate more clearly, make a practice of stopping by some loud restaurants on your way to the quiet one, step in, and as the greeter asks you to come to a table, reply, “NOPE! TOO LOUD, SORRY! MAYBE ON A QUIETER DAY! THANKS! BYE!”

…and leave.


““Americans are loud.” Anyone who has spent time in other countries knows this to be true.”


I’ve found this to be true everywhere I’ve been, regardless of country-of-origin.

People who don’t speak the lingua franca of hoi polloi in the mother-father-land often sound boisterous, bourgeois and nouveau riche to the nativists.

(A thesaurus was injured in the making of this post in order to demonstrate ear-grating prejudices which often arise.)


Interestingly, just last week I was in a Red Robin for the first time in probably 6 years, and the first thing that struck me (besides the fact that their prices have gone up) is that it was actually a lot quieter than it used to be. I got the sense that their shift toward being a higher-end brand is related to that.


Also more tables are being crammed into smaller spaces.


I’ve walked out of restaurants where it was too loud. No, I don’t want to watch your damn hockey game/Football game/basketball game all playing at once with the sound pushed to 11 and techno music playing in the background.


I mean, maybe if you’re converting your restaurant into a recording studio, but there’s a lot you can do to “simply” dampen the worst of the noises/echoes in a room for under $1000.


“American are loud”… Never met Spaniards, eh ?