How to design the interior to get the best acoustic experiences in restaurants?

Creating an amazing restaurant experience means giving patrons a taste of great food, design and acoustics. Designing the perfect restaurant isn’t easy as you need to remember many elements to get the ultimate design.

Restaurant of Plopsa hotel in De Panne Belgium with Rockfon Color-all Charcoal in D-edge

Restaurant of Plopsa Hotel in De Panne Belgium with Rockfon Color-all Charcoal in D-edge

Mhmm! Now that sounds good 

Poor acoustics in restaurants are a growing trend and 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 noise. 

When a customer walks into a restaurant, they should feel like they want to be there. The busyness mustn’t drive the people away and a restaurant ceiling shouldn’t give the feeling of being done 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. 

Give the right welcome 

Reception and bar area 

A comfy restaurant reception and bar areas are an integral part of the restaurant landscape and play an important role in keeping the customers from leaving on a busy night. These areas are major focal points and a great opportunity to tie a slightly different 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 

We recommend products like Rockfon Blanka®, Chicago Metallic™ Matt-White 11 Grid and Rockfon Eclipse® as they both give outstanding acoustic comfort. Rockfon Eclipse is frameless islands with excellent sound absorption, and it’s a great element to complement an industrial-style design. Chicago Metallic Matt-White 11 Grid gives your design a unique surface with a monolithic look. 

Play with colours

Be bold and play around with our 34 bold, long-lasting and inspiring colours. Rockfon Color-all® is a versatile acoustic ceiling solution available in concealed, semi-concealed and visible grid solution giving you total design freedom. 

Kill the noise, not the vibe 

Dining area

Food and décor is the focus in every restaurant, and many of them don’t realise that they have a serious noise problem affecting customers and staff, potentially 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 noise levels 
  • Add other porous materials in the dining area like, tablecloths, curtains, rugs and chairs with fabric on them to limit the number of hard surfaces where the sound can reverberate. 
  • Creating a better experience for the guests, adding extra sound-absorbing materials underneath the tables will absorb excessive noise. 

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 matt and super white surface help to capitalise on natural light. Rockfon Eclipse wall panel is an aesthetic, frameless wall solution perfectly fitting a clean, minimalistic design. They can be used on their own or ideal for complementing every space. 

Stand out with excellent sound 

Rockfon Eclipse® is innovative and aesthetically pleasing frameless islands giving excellent sound absorption. It’s a great way to complement a minimal style restaurant as they’re quick and easy to install to improve the acoustic environment. 

Speaking louder to be heard continuously escalates the noise and makes a room even noisier. This is known as the “Lombard effect.

Pascal van Dort

Global Acoustic Ambassador at Rockfon

Great hygiene that sounds beautiful 

Kitchen 

Speed, consistency, communication and hygiene are all critical success criteria in restaurant kitchens. They are bustling and high-stress spaces requiring a thoughtful design that prevents sound levels from escalating, safeguarding the wellbeing of the cooks and people working in the kitchen. 

A clean kitchen is the number one criteria, which is why sanitation regulations are so high. It’s vital that the building materials including the ceiling can be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis to maintain a high sanitary standard. 

It’s no secret that kitchens have a lot of activity and since the sanitary requirements are very high it requires a design with sleek and reflective surfaces. It’s great for cleanability however, it’s terrible for acoustics. The constant talk between chefs, grills humming and pans clinging create a cacophony of noise that most likely will disturb noise as well as it create an unhealthy working environment. 

Acoustic tips: 
  • Use sound-absorbing solutions that meet the most rigorous hygiene codes and safety regulations and that are resistant to mould and bacteria.
  • Make sure sound absorption is high to avoid that sound bouncing off the surfaces.

The lively kitchen space requires a high hygienic design that also prevents sound levels from escalating, safeguarding the wellbeing of the cooks and the people working there. 

Make it about the food and not the noise 

We would recommend installing Rockfon® System T24 S/E ECR™ as it’s suitable for a humid and harsh environment where corrosion resistance, longevity and safety are key factors. And combined with our non-hygroscopic, durable and specially treated ceiling tile, Rockfon Hygienic® fits perfectly for areas with food preparation. Choosing a ceiling solution resistant to mould and bacteria gives you a safe foundation for a healthy space.  

Don’t forget the last space to create the whole experience 

Restroom 

The full customer experience counts for all the touchpoints a customer enters and don’t forget the restroom as it also adds to the experience. Privacy and good hygiene give comfort for visitors however, restrooms often have hard surfaces and ceramic walls for optimal hygiene and cleanability. 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. 
Create a moment of privacy 

We recommend the Rockfon Color-all® range with 34 inspiring and exclusive colours to enhance the comfort of the space. Also our non-hygroscopic, durable and specially treated ceiling tile, Rockfon Hygienic® is perfect for restrooms as it requires frequent cleaning.  

Llaut Palace Hotel

Origami-inspired ceiling created acoustic comfort

Challenge:

The Llaut Palace Hotel restaurant had to contend with some difficult circumstances when finding a beautiful artistic vision and exceptional visual to complement the restaurant’s design, with its open kitchen and acoustic aspirations.

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

Le Petit Sabayon

When Mhmm! is on the menu 

Challenge:

The owners of Le Petit Sabayon renovated a pre-existing restaurant, removing the carpets and curtains, creating a more refined and fresh look, but found they had problems with the acoustic environment.

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 owners chose Rockfon Eclipse® because of its high sound absorption and unobtrusive aesthetic.

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