Imagine you’ve spent years developing your latest restaurant concept. You carefully crafted the menu. You tediously selected each and every furnishing and finish, from live edge wood tables to polished concrete floors. And the dinner reservations? Already booked for opening weekend.
But when the crowd files in on the first night, you suddenly realize the one detail you forgot to consider.
In the lively environment packed with people, the sound bounces off of the sea of hard surfaces: your concrete floor, barnwood walls, wood tables, and gyp board ceilings. This reverberation ends up producing even more noise.
Guests can’t hear their friends sitting next to them. Servers bring the wrong order because they misunderstood. The cacophony results in an extremely unpleasant experience for patrons and staff, alike.
This example illustrates why we always take every aspect of design into account when we create a restaurant space, including noise reduction control.
NEW DESIGN TRENDS, NEW CHALLENGES
Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a new interior design trend: an array of hard surface materials in restaurant design. Materials including concrete, wood, metal, stone, brick, glass, and tile, not only have an attractive aesthetic, but are also easy to clean. Unfortunately, as demonstrated in the story above, these materials don’t win any awards for sound absorption.
Therefore, it’s important to design with acoustics in mind. And while traditional ceiling tiles and wall panels are ideal for absorbing sound, their not-so-inspiring looks make them not-so-inspiring for a restaurant environment.
In order to create a space that’s acoustically balanced and incorporates the desired aesthetic, we have a few tricks up our sleeve.
PRODUCTS THAT REDUCE NOISE AND LOOK GOOD WHILE DOING IT
There are actually quite a few products that provide noise reduction control in an inconspicuous way.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Artwork: Architonic Sound Absorbing Wall Art
Baffles: Zintra Acoustic Baffles
Lighting: Focal Point Seem 1 Acoustic Direct
Linear Ceiling Planks: CertainTeed HEARTFELT
Screens: TURF Flow
Tin Ceiling Tiles: American Tin Ceilings Perforated Panels
Wallcovering: Buzzi Space BuzziSkin
Wall Panels: Xorel Artform
Wood Panels: Oberflex Obersound
One last tip (and our craftiest at that) is to apply Sound Away UltraQuiet Acoustic Cotton Panels to the undersides of tables and chairs. They’re thin and provide a discreet way to catch sound waves that bounce up from a hard surface floor.
The success of your restaurant is affected not only by its food and aesthetics, but more importantly by its service and function. If noise deters your patrons from returning or causes your staff to turn over quickly, the design of the space is not serving its purpose. All of these elements should be integrated to create an inviting environment and experience for everyone.
Looking to design the ideal space for your next restaurant? Contact us today for a free consultation with our interior design department.