(L-R, visible kitchens at Fig + Olive and Red O in Orange County, CA)
CUTTING THROUGH THE NOISE
"The challenge is not necessarily to quiet a restaurant but to successfully manage its sound level, and, in the process, allow the ambient nose to be a complementary part of the mood communicated by the food, the chef, the location, the entire dining experience."
- Amy Scattergood, Los Angeles Times
The volume has been cranked way up in our restaurants. The truth is that some like it hot – way up – especially in the bar where the folks meet to drink, eat and be part of the scene. A lively bar and restaurant is a real profit center and the energy attracts.
However, for most restaurants, it's ideal to have a warm restaurant with a pleasant ambient noise that is perfect for conversation with friends, a place to close a business deal, or have intimate dialogue with a significant other.
Two Orange County newcomers,
Fig + Olive and
Red O (L-R, shown in the photo above), have figured out how to reduce the noise from their large kitchens with treatments to keep the energy from the kitchen alive in the dining room, while eliminating the sound.
TIPS TO REDUCE NOISE
1) Enclosing the Kitchen - as demonstrated by Red O and Fig + Olive above, it's important to keep those kitchen noises out of the dining room - chatter from your Chefs and staff, the clanking of dishes and silverware, etc. Fig + Olive features small windows that reduce noise transfer and Red O features a tinted glass wall the eliminates sound completely!
2) Identifying Noise - you can measure the decibel levels in your restaurant with ease by downloading the ClapIR Acoustics Measurement Tool (available on iTunes for your iPhone
HERE). This app helps you identify noisy and quiet areas and teach the staff to be discerning of the guests. ClapIR is a great tool for measuring the acoustic properties of a room - it's acoustics engineering made easy!
3) Sound Absorbers - many restaurants utilize foam to absorb sound that can travel off hard surfaces. By placing pieces of foam discreetly under seats and table tops, you can reduce a significant amount of noise that can interfere with conversations.
4) Quieting Hard Surfaces - there are many hard surfaces, especially in a bar area. With tableclothes becoming more and more scarce, it's more necessary than ever to utilize coasters under drinks and something to break the sound of dishes and silverware clanking.