Acoustics
Indoor climate and well-being
Interior design

How to enhance customer experiences in restaurants with acoustic solutions?

Rockfon
7 June 2022

Giving customers a taste of great food, design, and acoustics is part of creating an amazing restaurant experience. Designing the ideal restaurant is difficult because many elements must be considered to achieve the best interior design.

Restaurant-acoustics

Does Sound Affect the Way We Taste? 

Dining out in restaurants is not just about food. It is also about sound. Scientific research shows that acoustics, background music and noise levels affect not only the atmosphere but also the way we experience what we eat and drink. There is a direct link between the ear and the nose which might explain how and why noise affects our taste. 

For example, classical music is said to enhance the perceived quality of food and wine. High-pitched musical notes can boost sweetness, while low notes accentuate bitterness. On the other hand, sound can also reduce taste, and loud background noise can negatively affect how we experience flavour and texture.  

Looking at the reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor and Yelp, the customers are voicing their opinions on their experiences. US National Restaurant Review found that the 2nd most common complaint from restaurant visitors was background noise. 

When a customer walks into a restaurant, they should feel like they want to be there. The busyness should not drive people away, and the restaurant ceiling should not give the impression of being completed at the last minute. Both bold and subtle colours will be on the top of the restaurant design menu as it influences the customers’ senses. 

So, when designing a restaurant décor, it is important to find the right balance between atmosphere and acoustics in restaurants. And this goes way beyond adjusting the playlist or turning the volume up or down. 

Article illustration, Rockfon, blog post, insight, graph, noise, hearing damage

How to Include Acoustics in Various Places in Your Restaurant Design 

Reception and Bar Area 

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Restaurant reception and bar areas are important to keeping customers from leaving on a busy night. They provide a comfortable place for customers to relax and stay in the restaurant. These areas are major focal points and a wonderful opportunity to tie a slightly unique design theme from the other sections. Unfortunately, the reception and bar area have many hard and reflective surfaces that are terrible for acoustics. 

By adding an acoustic solution, you can easily create a space that sounds as beautiful as it looks. 

Acoustic Tips:  

  • Be playful and fun with adding colours and other design elements to create a social environment  
  • Have round edges or three-dimensional features to break up the smooth surfaces that reverberate noise  
  • Use highly sound-absorbing material to control the noise levels.  
  • Add artwork, greenery, and soft furniture  

Product Recommendations:  

  • Rockfon Blanka® is available in a variety of sizes and edges to fit any space. It is not only our whitest and brightest tile, but it also has the best acoustics in the industry. 
  • Chicago Metallic™ Matt-White 11 Grid reduces visual contrasts between your grid and tile, resulting in an elegant, almost monolithic appearance.

  • Rockfon Eclipse® island is a stunning frameless acoustic island available in a variety of geometric shapes. They're ideal for improving sound absorption while also adding a fun or aesthetic design element. 

  • Rockfon Color-all® allows you to invite 34 exclusive and inspiring colours into your design. It adds a distinctive touch to your acoustic comfort and interior design scheme. 

Dining Area 

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Many restaurants focus on the food and décor, but they do not realise that they have a serious noise pollution problem. The noisy restaurant can bother customers and staff, which might end up hurting the business. Modern restaurant design tends to be minimalist with open kitchens, hard, smooth surfaces and materials like concrete, wood, and glass.  

Together they create stunning visuals, but terrible indoor climates that kill the atmosphere. The dining experience is more than just great and exciting food, it’s creating special moments for people. People in restaurants want to feel comfortable, almost like they were at home. It’s important to get the right sound levels to kill the noise and enhance the vibe. 

Acoustic Tips:  

  • Focus on enhancing the acoustic environment by using highly sound-absorbing ceiling and wall solutions to control the restaurant noise levels   
  • If you want to limit the reverberation times in your dining area, add other porous materials — like tablecloths, curtains, rugs, and chairs with fabric on them. 
  • Creating a better experience for the guests, adding extra sound-absorbing materials underneath the tables will absorb excessive noise. 

Product Recommendations:  

We recommend products as Rockfon Blanka® and Rockfon Eclipse® wall panels. Rockfon Blanka gives you the best acoustic properties to ensure a comfortable noise level. The deep matte and super white surface help to capitalise on natural light.  

Rockfon Eclipse® is an innovative and aesthetically pleasing acoustic panel, giving excellent sound absorption. It's a fantastic way to complement a minimalist style restaurant because they're quick and easy to install to improve the acoustics.

Kitchen 

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Speed, consistency, communication, and hygiene are all critical success criteria in restaurant kitchens. Kitchens need to be designed in a way that keeps noise levels down. This can help safeguard the well-being of the cooks and other people in the kitchen. 

A clean kitchen is the number one criteria, which is why sanitation regulations are so high. To maintain a high sanitary standard, it is critical that the building materials, including the ceiling, be cleaned, and disinfected on a regular basis.  

Kitchens are a busy place and need to be designed in a way that is easy to keep clean. This means using sleek, reflective surfaces. They’re undoubtedly great for cleanability but terrible for acoustics.  

The noise from the chefs talking, the grills humming, and the pans clanging together creates a lot of noise that might bother people. This is also unhealthy for the people working here. 

Acoustic Tips:  

  • Make sure that you use sound-absorbing solutions that are mould and bacteria resistant and meet the most stringent hygiene codes and safety regulations. 
  • Make sure sound absorption is high to avoid that sound bouncing off the surfaces.  
  • The kitchen should be designed in a way that is both sanitary and prevents excessive noise levels. This is critical for the safety of those who will be cooking in the kitchen as well as those who will be working there. 

Product Recommendations:  

Rockfon System T24 S/E ECR is a good choice for a humid and harsh environment because it resists corrosion, lasts a long time, and is safe.  

Rockfon® CleanSpace™ Pro is a cleanable ceiling tile with good acoustic properties. The product is long-lasting and resistant to a variety of cleaning and disinfection methods.  

Restroom

The total customer experience includes all touchpoints a customer encounters, including the restroom. People feel more comfortable when they have privacy and good hygiene.  

However, restrooms often have hard surfaces and ceramic walls so that they can be cleaned well. But it’s not ideal for privacy. To dampen sound reflection, it’s highly important to look into acoustic solutions that also can withstand regular cleaning. 

Acoustic Tips:  

  • Use a sound-absorbing solution that meets the most rigorous hygiene standards and safety regulations  
  • Make sure that the ceiling solution can resist mould and bacteria. 
  • Avoid the sound bouncing off the surface by implementing high sound-absorbing materials. 

Product Recommendations:  

We recommend the Rockfon Color-all® range with 34 inspiring and exclusive colours to enhance the comfort of the space. Also, our Rockfon® CleanSpace™ Essential is perfect for restrooms with up to 100% humidity resistance. 

Origami-inspired ceiling created acoustic comfort

Challenge:  

The Llaut Palace Hotel restaurant needed a beautiful design to match its open kitchen and acoustic aspirations. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find an artist who could meet these requirements. 

Solution and results:  

Architect Arantxa Guerrero opted to use Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic to create an inverted pyramid structure, inspired by origami’s fine art. ‘We wanted to transmit this sensation of lightness; the element of origami communicates movement and flexibility, expanding the space of the room’. 

Llauat Palace Hotel,Spain,Mallorca,400 m²,Arantxa Guerrero,Seta Arqutectos,Rockfon Mono Acoustic,TE-edge,white

When Mhmm! is on the menu

Challenge:  

The owners of Le Petit Sabayon renovated a pre-existing restaurant. They got rid of the carpets and curtains, which made the environment look more refined and fresh. However, they found that they had problems with the acoustics. 

Solution and results:  

It quickly became apparent that the restaurant was too noisy, disturbing guests and workers alike. To overcome the poor restaurant acoustics, the restaurant owners chose Rockfon Eclipse® as acoustic treatments. This product line has high sound absorption and an unobtrusive aesthetic.  

FR, Restaurant 'Le Petit Sabayon', Morangis (Paris), Leisure, Rockfon Eclipse (island), A edge, 1760x1160x40, White, Restaurant