Sunday, November 17, 2013

Noisy Noshing

Today I am complaining. I sometimes feel as if I am turning into an old crank so am careful about who I complain about and to whom I complain to. But I am at the public complaining point with noisy restaurants. What prompts this you might ask? Well two new restaurants have recently opened in Fredericton. Both are not new to the city but both had fires so had to relocate and hence a new building and atmosphere. My general whining about the noise in both of these places has fallen on deaf ears and most likely because unless you can read lips you wouldn't know what I was saying as I yelled, " I can't hear a damned thing you're saying."

I only whined a teeny bit about the first resto becoming noisier in its new space "Isaac's Way", but this past Friday night I had dinner at King St.Ale House on its opening weekend. My daughter was so fatigued after a day at work and a meal where we had to compete for air space with all the other patrons she had to go home early to bed!

Someone will tell me that it won't be like that all the time. It was because it was the opening week for both restos and the crowds will dwindle but my question is aren't restaurants in the business of putting bums in seats. Won't they want the place to fill up every night for dinner?

We did have to yell a bit at each other in the old King St.Ale House but there were quiet areas as well. Not so in the new space.

I did some research and lo and behold I found that I wasn't alone. It appears to be a new trend. 

Many national restaurant reviewers now include noise level as part of their reports. According to Zagat, one of the best known of these types of businesses, noise has become the second-biggest complaint among diners, right behind bad service. In Los Angeles, 18 percent of diners ranked noise as their top peeve last year, Hsu reports. That’s up from 12 percent in 2010.
Some restaurants are starting to respond to customer complaints by using sound-damping products, including some eco-friendly sound absorbers made from cork, recycled tires and wood. Ceilings are being lowered and quieter exhaust hoods are being installed in some of those open kitchens. Special soundproofing paint is being applied to walls.
Our two new local dining establishments must have missed the page on eco friendly sound absorbers in their review of current restaurant decorating. I may have to bring my old summer tires with me next time.

Dining out is not the same as eating out. When friends and family gather to share a meal in a restaurant they want to be able to hear each other. This trend could drive people back to their own dining rooms for good food and good conversations.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you (pun intended!)

    There are getting to be fewer and fewer places I enjoy for that very reason. I don't understand why new restaurants are being designed like this.