Woolly Shepherd says poor acoustics make dining out miserable
Over 80% complain about restaurant noise
According to a recent survey by Natural Acoustics company The Woolly Shepherd, over 80% of respondents recently visited a restaurant where the acoustics were so bad they couldn’t hear properly, but 90% said they would return if the restaurant acoustics improved. So why is the industry doing so little about it?
Company director Tim Simmons shed some light on these figures: “What is interesting is that although most people chose to leave, complain or not return because of the noise, only 18% actually complained to the management and 20% did not complain at all.”
This means that large numbers of people are not returning to restaurants because of poor acoustics – and the industry is doing little about it. The survey had responses from over 4000 people.
“We have fitted Natural Acoustics wool clouds and wall boards in restaurants across the country, but these are astute restaurateurs who respond to customer complaints,” said Tim Simmons. “We regularly receive suggestions from the public as to restaurants where they badly need acoustic absorption, but whenever we call the venue ourselves, they deny they have a problem at all or claim it’s not a high priority.”
A full 97% of people surveyed expressed negative feelings such as disappointment, anger and frustration towards the restaurant concerned. Unlike a lack of cleanliness or surly service, excessive reverberation is not visible or well understood, so it can go overlooked.
“The current trend away from curtains and carpets and towards hard surfaces that reflect sound is certainly part of the problem,” explains director Tim Simmons. “We also have to realise that our population is ageing and more older people are continuing to eat out.”
The survey was carried out with the help of Quietmark and the Noise Abatement Society, which has long campaigned for noise reduction across industry as well as in our public and private places.
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