Is it just us, or is it really loud in here?
If you’re thinking this while dining at a restaurant, you’re not alone. According to Albuquerque Journal, increasingly more people are becoming annoyed with the loud atmospheres of restaurants that aggravate the dining experience and cut meals short.
Loud music in sports bars and the like is nothing new, but the current concern is that high-end restaurants are now following suit. Some people even like a loud experience at a restaurant because it engages them and creates a fun mood. But according to a 2013 Zagat nationwide survey, “Nineteen percent of diners said noise and crowds irritated them most while eating out — a 7 percent increase from that of six years ago.”
At upscale restaurants, people want to be able to engage in conversation without having to shout, a desire that transcends age. Rhonda Edwards, 52, said she wants to be able to talk with her husband at a nice restaurant without having to strain, and Travis Wolf, 18, says that sitting down at a nice, quiet dinner allows him to relax, even if just for a little.
The high noise levels can most likely be attributed to the new minimalistic trend at restaurants that emphasizes noise-friendly environments like mirrors, bare tables, and high ceilings. The source adds that the noise might even be intentional, because studies suggest that louder music causes people to eat and drink much quicker.
So no, you’re not alone when you can’t even hear yourself think at some restaurants, but that may just be what restaurants are intending.