Noises at the restaurant, hell for customers… “It really ruins the meal”

A bunch of buddies yelling their best jokes at the next table. Background music so strong that it just kills the mood. Tight tables that allow you to enjoy the not really exciting discussions of the neighbors. Ringing of dishes that go to your head. The noise in the restaurants, cafes and bars can turn a supposedly friendly moment into a tense experience. According to an Opinion Way study for Saint Gobain Ecophon and La Semaine du Son* published this Thursday, 81% of French people say they avoid a restaurant if it is noisy.

Calm is particularly expected when preparing to enjoy a good dish: “Three out of four people do not go to a restaurant if it is noisy, 68% to a poorly soundproofed café and 63% to bars where there are excess noise. What may seem surprising is that 73% of 18-24 year olds do not go to certain places because of noise. They like the sound, but refuse this discomfort”, specifies Sylvain Coudret, education and office market manager at Saint Gobain. Anne, who responded to our call for witnesses, is one of those who want to have lunch in peace, as Stéphane Eicher sang: “The music and the noise of the guests are often very annoying, especially in the traffic jams of Lyon where we are already tight. Sometimes, it really ruins the meal which should be a pleasure for two. »

“A league match 2 at full speed on their phones”

It is clear that we are not all allergic to the same noises. At the top of customers’ fears are discussions at neighboring tables (cited by 60% of respondents), traffic in the street outside the establishment (33%), noises coming from the toilets (31%) and the music (29%). The readers of 20 minutes also testify to various intolerances to certain noises. The ultimate repellent for Jeanne is customers talking too loudly. “You should speak in a low voice. The other tables must not hear neighboring conversations, otherwise there is a cacophony. This also counts for the staff! “, she insists.

For Philippe, hell is smart phone “An evening was completely ruined by a group of three people and a child who were the only customers with us in this restaurant and who were listening to a game of league 2 flat out on their phones. Richard would also confiscate their telephones from customers: “The worst is in the restaurant, between those who leave their telephones on the ring and they have the delicacy to speak loudly instead of going out”, gets angry. -he.

“I come out of these evenings, exhausted, irritated”

In the hifi-video section, Michel is exasperated by TV in cafes or bars. “Let’s skip the fact that it’s mostly CNews. We see all the heads turn towards the screen to watch a match and it is more difficult to appreciate the moment! It is well known, the music of some is the migraine of others. No wonder not all customers love to listen The Lambada sipping their beer. Tristan even finds nights out in bars unbearable because of this. “The most irritating thing is often the much too loud music that drowns out the voice. No matter how hard I listen, my brain can’t tell the words from the music. Added to this are the neighbors who raise their voices, resulting in a shambles. I come out of these evenings, exhausted, irritated, with a headache, ”he testifies.

And he is not the only one to feel real discomfort: “The consequences can be physical: headaches, fatigue… But they can also be social, because nearly one person in two believes that excess noise ruined an evening for him and it can even make him lose his senses during a romantic date for one in ten people, ”notes Sylvain Coudret.

However, solutions exist

The inconvenience is such that three out of 10 French people have already left a place hastily when they were already there. This is what happened to Camille. “The noise is so intoxicating in restaurants that my friend and I often shorten the evening. What a pity people are disrespectful! “, she regrets. Ghislaine has also opted for express consumption on certain occasions. “It happened to me not to finish my meal or to stay at home. Except in summer, when we can have lunch on the terrace. »

Faced with this observation, acoustic comfort appears to be an important issue in customer loyalty for catering establishments. “Especially since customers are increasingly looking at restaurant reviews. The bad sound environment is a repellent”, notes Sylvain Coudret. However, there are simple solutions to improve a place. “We can install floating units on the ceilings, which help to absorb noise or acoustic wall panels,” he continues. Still, many establishments do not make these investments because they are expensive.

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Noises at the restaurant, hell for customers… “It really ruins the meal”


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