Polished concrete surfaces might look flash, but according to an acoustic study, noisy cafés and restaurants leave a bad taste in diners’ mouths.
A Flinders University laboratory study has found that getting noise levels right is just as important to diners as food quality and good service.
“Our study not only shows that relaxing music at low noise levels increases food enjoyment but indicates that even ‘normal’ background noise levels in restaurants can be unpleasant to diners,” said the study’s lead author and PhD candidate Mahmoud Alamir.
“We do not always recognise the cumulative effect of noise to our stress or annoyance levels, but we see how every one of us has sensitivity to noise in different ways,” he said.
Older people and women seemed to be more sensitive to loud background noise.
The university’s Dr Kristy Hansen said the results highlighted the importance of noise management strategies in restaurants.
“This could include more practical acoustic design of dining areas to suit different groups of people,” she said.
“Quiet dining areas should be considered for older and noise-sensitive people.”
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