Sound Matters: Reduce Noise Clutter in Your Kitchen
When designing your restaurant, you probably considered adding equipment that can perform multiple tasks, decorating the dining area to match your theme, and investing in top-of-the-line furnishings to set your restaurant apart from the others! But what makes your restaurant safe and inviting may also be a springboard for unpleasant noise, reflecting and reverberating conversations and preparations and cluttering up the acoustics in the dining area. Sound matters in a dining experience, and having noise clutter in the dining area can be offputting for guests. With baby boomers seeking an experience of cuisine, service, and ambiance, it pays to make the changes to reduce noise in your restaurant.
“When you’re starting out with a restaurant, you usually don’t have a line item for sound,” says Joe Cassinelli, owner of The Painted Burro and the nearby Posto restaurant. “You’re thinking the kitchen, chairs, and rubbing two nickels together to make a quarter.” You may even feel downtrodden while trying to meet HACCP regulations (which is definitely a worthwhile endeavour!). So whether or not you’re about to open a new restaurant or looking for ways to reduce noise in your existing establishment, you can probably benefit from a few of these tips:
Rearrange your kitchen. This one may be easier from the get-go, as outlets and hood vents make it difficult to rearrange once items are established. The National Restaurant Association brings up some helpful tips in this area: “Proper location of machines emitting constant noises, like as ice machines with compressors that go off and on, can minimize the cumulative effect of sound. For example, if you have a small restaurant with the dining room adjacent to the bar, you may want to consider purchasing an ice machine with a roof-mounted condenser.”
Soften surfaces where possible. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that hard surfaces reflect sounds more readily. The downside is that hard surfaces are safer to clean and hold less bacteria, and so they’re many times preferred and even required in the kitchen. But your dining areas can benefit from soft surfaces. Think: carpet, table cloths, and rubber-soled shoes for staff. It may not remove noise entirely, but it can certainly help to dampen the level!
Pay attention to windows. Windows and mirrors tend to reflect sound, and while you may not be able to soften the surface necessarily, you can install curtains and blinds as well as remove or cover your mirrored walls. While mirrors are great for making your dining area appear larger, you can still keep the effect but cover it with shelves for liquor or other deco.
Install sound absorbers. There are many items designed specifically for sound dampening, and you can utilize these without interfering with your setup. Ceiling tiles and insulation can help pad the areas, and installing a door between your kitchen and dining area is also a good way to reduce the travel of noise.
Customer satisfaction is more than just about the food and service; your restaurant aesthetics and noise help to contribute to one’s overall dining experience. Make sure their review is a good one by taking steps to reduce the noise pollution in your restaurant.
E Friedman Associates Inc
T: 800-555-0666 x 1975