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(Grub Street)   Why restaurants are louder than ever. For the benefit of the hard-of-hearing Farkers, here is the headline again: WHY RESTAURANTS ARE LOUDER THAN EVER   (grubstreet.com) divider line 66
    More: Obvious, David Chang, wall of sound, snowball effect, restaurants, Mario Batali  
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3729 clicks; posted to Business » on 14 Jul 2013 at 10:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-14 07:04:14 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-07-14 08:22:32 PM  
is it because people in general are more rude, self absorbed, yapping on cell phones and overall discourteous asshattery?

DNRTFA

/half deaf but courteous, occasionally loud
 
2013-07-14 09:04:31 PM  
Yeah, that headline was funny the four hundredth time I read it.

Now? Not so much.
 
2013-07-14 09:22:40 PM  
Wait restaurants are actually getting louder? I thought I was just getting older and grumpier.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-14 09:56:26 PM  
The last new restaurant I went to we were wondering why it had to be so loud when it would be easy to fix the acoustics without hurting anything. I see it's one of those fashion mysteries I'll never understand.
 
2013-07-14 10:03:04 PM  
I can't hear you over the sound of the screaming baby
 
2013-07-14 10:07:39 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: I can't hear you over the sound of the screaming baby


What?
 
2013-07-14 10:12:48 PM  
Perfect for when you have a date that likes nice places but won't shut up about that biatch-at-work Carol.
 
2013-07-14 10:26:39 PM  
Sushi bars are still relative temples of quiet, I've noticed, and so are effete little tasting ateliers like Atera in Tribeca and grand, gourmet establishments like Eleven Madison Park and Per Se.

southparkstudios.mtvnimages.com
 
2013-07-14 10:27:47 PM  
Summary:

Remove: carpeting, ceiling tiles, tablecloths, window treatments, and leather booths

Add: Glass, steel, concrete, wood, exposed pipes, and bare bulb fixtures.


Gee, i wonder why it sounds louder.
 
2013-07-14 10:35:08 PM  
I ate breakfast today in a small Denver cafe'.  The food was quite good and very reasonably priced .(lox eggs benedict, $8.50)  But I would never return because it sounded like a boiler factory in there.

The walls were bare except for a few murals.  Windows three-quarters of the room's height wrapped around three walls.  A harsh echo chamber.   Giant espresso machine sounded off like a steam locomotive every few minutes. People shouting to talk with each other over a two-seat table.Dogs on the farking patio right outside the main entrance, especially the yipping spaniel  and the booming mastiff.Plus, the place is a sidewalk's width from a six-lane thoroughfare. There was music but I couldn't hear well enough to make out what kind.
 
2013-07-14 10:38:31 PM  
This isn't really new in some ways.  It's a psychological parlor trick: Noisy, dark restaurants are supposed to make people want to leave sooner, thus freeing up table space.

Of course, with people being such self-absorbed yappers these days, oblivious to nearly everything but the sound of their own voices, maybe it no longer has that effect.

/shrug
 
2013-07-14 10:40:09 PM  
Sushi bars are still relative temples of quiet

While eating sushi, I like to talk in haiku. Really sets the mood.

/"The service was good. Some fried ice cream for desert, then I'll take the check."
 
2013-07-14 10:40:28 PM  

quatchi: Wait restaurants are actually getting louder? I thought I was just getting older and grumpier.


Why not both?

/it is for my case anyway
 
2013-07-14 10:46:09 PM  

PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: This isn't really new in some ways.  It's a psychological parlor trick: Noisy, dark restaurants are supposed to make people want to leave sooner, thus freeing up table space.


Just announce every half hour, "The vuvuzela quartet will serenade you in five minutes."  But let me eat in peace, ffs!
 
2013-07-14 10:52:35 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Just announce every half hour, "The vuvuzela quartet will serenade you in five minutes."  But let me eat in peace, ffs!


Now that's a great idBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
 
2013-07-14 10:52:37 PM  
Just got back from eating at Black Angus Steakhouse... We had a nice little booth in the corner, with high sides around it (about 5.5 feet or so) that seated the 7 of us comfortably. When we entered the restaurant, the place was barely 1/3 full of people (still early for dinner), and we sat down had our dinner, had some conversation, then about an hour later we went out to leave. The restaurant was now full of people, all talking and eating, and you could barely hear it from where we were.

Contrast that to the handful of times we've gone to Olive Garden. Our table was in the middle of a room, surrounded by other tables less than 4 feet away, with every single word (and child's screech or adult's braying laugh) layering on top of each other to form a blanket of sound which covered the entire room. Even sitting next to each other, we had to shout to have a conversation.

I know which one gets my business more often. Besides, I'll take rare tenderloin steak and a loaded baked potato over gummy pasta and over cooked chicken parm any day of the week.
 
2013-07-14 10:59:39 PM  
Robert Sietsema is a food critic in New York and carries multiple decibel meters. Tom Sietsema is a food critic in DC and always reports the decibel level in his reviews. These men are not related. Weird.
 
2013-07-14 11:05:50 PM  

Mister Peejay: quatchi: Wait restaurants are actually getting louder? I thought I was just getting older and grumpier.

Why not both?

/it is for my case anyway


You sir, are welcome on my lawn anytime!

*adjusts onion*
 
2013-07-14 11:10:38 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: This isn't really new in some ways.  It's a psychological parlor trick: Noisy, dark restaurants are supposed to make people want to leave sooner, thus freeing up table space.

Just announce every half hour, "The vuvuzela quartet will serenade you in five minutes."  But let me eat in peace, ffs!




It suck that you are forced to eat at place you don't like.
 
2013-07-14 11:16:45 PM  
Holy Shiat.  While reading the article about EXTREMELY loud sound systems, lots of people in a small room, an emphasis on bars and drinking - I had flashbacks to my Wednesday night fraternity parties - lots of drunk, obnoxious people (other fraternity members - not the waiters, although I've met many obnoxious waiters...), yelling into each other's ears, red solo cups of beer for a quarter, watching the girls get prettier as I got drunker and the night got later, wondering if I should go back to the dorm and study for the differential equations exam (nah, I'm not a Senior yet I can always retake the course), pissing in the Church parking lot next to the house,  AH, the article reminded me of good times.
 
2013-07-14 11:17:55 PM  

DoughyGuy: Just got back from eating at Black Angus Steakhouse... We had a nice little booth in the corner, with high sides around it (about 5.5 feet or so) that seated the 7 of us comfortably. When we entered the restaurant, the place was barely 1/3 full of people (still early for dinner), and we sat down had our dinner, had some conversation, then about an hour later we went out to leave. The restaurant was now full of people, all talking and eating, and you could barely hear it from where we were.

Contrast that to the handful of times we've gone to Olive Garden. Our table was in the middle of a room, surrounded by other tables less than 4 feet away, with every single word (and child's screech or adult's braying laugh) layering on top of each other to form a blanket of sound which covered the entire room. Even sitting next to each other, we had to shout to have a conversation.

I know which one gets my business more often. Besides, I'll take rare tenderloin steak and a loaded baked potato over gummy pasta and over cooked chicken parm any day of the week.

Subtle...hits several hot buttons without being overbearing.

10/10
 
2013-07-14 11:25:14 PM  
A moderately loud restaurant feels fun. It helps sell the proposition that it's a happening place and you are there and it's an event.

But shiat, if it makes conversations difficult fark it. Even or especially at the bar.

Also, it would be nice if the strip clubs nearby had a nerd-out room, tables, view of the stage, outlets, wifi, expensive coffee/alcohol drinks, prostitution.
 
2013-07-14 11:43:25 PM  

Fallout Zone: Robert Sietsema is a food critic in New York and carries multiple decibel meters. Tom Sietsema is a food critic in DC and always reports the decibel level in his reviews. These men are not related. Weird.


I thought I was the only one doing a double-take about that. I had never heard of Robert Sietsema before, and thought Tom was working under an assumed name or something.
 
2013-07-14 11:44:12 PM  

PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: This isn't really new in some ways.  It's a psychological parlor trick: Noisy, dark restaurants are supposed to make people want to leave sooner, thus freeing up table space.


Its not the only formula, but its definitely one. There is a reason that mcdonalds/wendys etc all have a red/yellow color scheme with plastic seating that is just ever so slightly slanted forward.
 
2013-07-14 11:46:41 PM  

The Smails Kid: DoughyGuy: Just got back from eating at Black Angus Steakhouse... We had a nice little booth in the corner, with high sides around it (about 5.5 feet or so) that seated the 7 of us comfortably. When we entered the restaurant, the place was barely 1/3 full of people (still early for dinner), and we sat down had our dinner, had some conversation, then about an hour later we went out to leave. The restaurant was now full of people, all talking and eating, and you could barely hear it from where we were.

Contrast that to the handful of times we've gone to Olive Garden. Our table was in the middle of a room, surrounded by other tables less than 4 feet away, with every single word (and child's screech or adult's braying laugh) layering on top of each other to form a blanket of sound which covered the entire room. Even sitting next to each other, we had to shout to have a conversation.

I know which one gets my business more often. Besides, I'll take rare tenderloin steak and a loaded baked potato over gummy pasta and over cooked chicken parm any day of the week.Subtle...hits several hot buttons without being overbearing.

10/10


How is that a troll? I've never been to Black Angus Steakhouse but his opinion of Olive Garden is pretty common around here. I even checked to make sure they weren't owned by the same company.
 
2013-07-14 11:48:07 PM  
IT'S BECAUSE RESTAURANTS BLAST MUSIC LIKE THEY'RE A GOD-DAMNED RAVE.  TURN OFF THE farkING MUSIC.  LET US EAT AND TALK.

I ate lunch last week at a higher-end Italian place.  Party of eight.  Went in for a late lunch (2PM). We were the only table seated.  They had the music so loud we couldn't hear each other across the table.  Music is not ambiance.  It's noise.
 
2013-07-14 11:52:43 PM  
My family has had to ask them to turn the music down so we could talk to each other. Just one of the reasons we don't go there anymore since my dad is half deaf from 30 years in a machine shop where high pitched cutters have damped his high frequency hearing.

There's one nice little faux english pub with low TIN ceilings that bring sound right across the room. When you have a dining conversation group of 30 people crammed into a corner we can't carry on a conversation more than four feet away. We don't take our 30+ cover tuesday night group there anymore. But it rocks when you have a crowd of soccer fans watching the game.

BJ's "brewpub" has a separate room we meet in. A little better, but it's a glass room. At least they turn down the music when we show up.

I'd like to build a purposely quiet business lunch restaurant. Acoustically quiet, at least. No right angles, a little bit of soft wall covering. But there's a problem with soft surfaces, they're hard to keep clean. And they're hard to find good looking fire resistant materials you could take down and wash once a month.

/You could start putting phone booths in restaurants again.
//Sound insulated.
 
2013-07-15 12:00:56 AM  
I experienced th

PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: This isn't really new in some ways.  It's a psychological parlor trick: Noisy, dark restaurants are supposed to make people want to leave sooner, thus freeing up table space.

/shrug


I experienced that at Mercadito in Chicago last summer. The general humidity outside coupled with noise, just barely too dark lighting and wafting tequila made both my wife and I feel so nauseous (without having touched or food) and decide to ask for it in a to-go box. I had initially written it off as just the two of us having an off night, but another couple we know had the same experience a few months later.
 
2013-07-15 12:09:37 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: BarkingUnicorn: PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: This isn't really new in some ways.  It's a psychological parlor trick: Noisy, dark restaurants are supposed to make people want to leave sooner, thus freeing up table space.

Just announce every half hour, "The vuvuzela quartet will serenade you in five minutes."  But let me eat in peace, ffs!

It suck that you are forced to eat at place you don't like.


Shrug.  Happens every time I visit relatives.
 
2013-07-15 12:11:27 AM  
I just ask loud diners "please speak up so I can join the conversation."

/mixed results
 
2013-07-15 12:19:59 AM  
It's all the damn smoking bans, people use to shut up when they had a cigarette in their mouth. Now they just yak loudly on their cell phones giving everyone cancer from the radiation.

/second hand cell phones kill
 
2013-07-15 12:24:46 AM  

wildcardjack: I'd like to build a purposely quiet business lunch restaurant. Acoustically quiet, at least. No right angles, a little bit of soft wall covering. But there's a problem with soft surfaces, they're hard to keep clean. And they're hard to find good looking fire resistant materials you could take down and wash once a month.


Sound abatement isn't particularly difficult.  It is however, expensive.
 
2013-07-15 01:26:04 AM  
I hate noise when I dine, but I hate TV sets on every wall more.  I won't eat at places with TVs, half of them are always tuned to FOX.
 
2013-07-15 01:49:10 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-15 02:35:12 AM  

LemSkroob: PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: This isn't really new in some ways.  It's a psychological parlor trick: Noisy, dark restaurants are supposed to make people want to leave sooner, thus freeing up table space.

Its not the only formula, but its definitely one. There is a reason that mcdonalds/wendys etc all have a red/yellow color scheme with plastic seating that is just ever so slightly slanted forward.


Precisely, and thank you.

You have saved me having to type exactly the same thing: retail food establishment psychologists (or whatever the fark they call themselves, billing chains at $5000/day) setting decor, lighting, acoustics (or the absence thereof).

Bright orange and yellow hard plastic uncomfortable chairs. Buchenwald lighting. A jittery, unnerving atmosphere. Get-ya-in-feed-ya-slop-get-ya-out-again.

There, look, I've gone and written exactly the same thing all over again.

/Of course there is the generation of vipers for whom silence is anathema. Count me out.
 
2013-07-15 02:39:29 AM  

wildcardjack: My family has had to ask them to turn the music down so we could talk to each other. Just one of the reasons we don't go there anymore since my dad is half deaf from 30 years in a machine shop where high pitched cutters have damped his high frequency hearing.

There's one nice little faux english pub with low TIN ceilings that bring sound right across the room. When you have a dining conversation group of 30 people crammed into a corner we can't carry on a conversation more than four feet away. We don't take our 30+ cover tuesday night group there anymore. But it rocks when you have a crowd of soccer fans watching the game.

BJ's "brewpub" has a separate room we meet in. A little better, but it's a glass room. At least they turn down the music when we show up.

I'd like to build a purposely quiet business lunch restaurant. Acoustically quiet, at least. No right angles, a little bit of soft wall covering. But there's a problem with soft surfaces, they're hard to keep clean. And they're hard to find good looking fire resistant materials you could take down and wash once a month.

/You could start putting phone booths in restaurants again.
//Sound insulated.


"Anechoica"! What a novel concept! And deaf waiters take orders in sign language.
 
2013-07-15 06:29:30 AM  

picturescrazy: The Smails Kid: DoughyGuy: Just got back from eating at Black Angus Steakhouse... We had a nice little booth in the corner, with high sides around it (about 5.5 feet or so) that seated the 7 of us comfortably. When we entered the restaurant, the place was barely 1/3 full of people (still early for dinner), and we sat down had our dinner, had some conversation, then about an hour later we went out to leave. The restaurant was now full of people, all talking and eating, and you could barely hear it from where we were.

Contrast that to the handful of times we've gone to Olive Garden. Our table was in the middle of a room, surrounded by other tables less than 4 feet away, with every single word (and child's screech or adult's braying laugh) layering on top of each other to form a blanket of sound which covered the entire room. Even sitting next to each other, we had to shout to have a conversation.

I know which one gets my business more often. Besides, I'll take rare tenderloin steak and a loaded baked potato over gummy pasta and over cooked chicken parm any day of the week.Subtle...hits several hot buttons without being overbearing.

10/10

How is that a troll? I've never been to Black Angus Steakhouse but his opinion of Olive Garden is pretty common around here. I even checked to make sure they weren't owned by the same company.




Hmmmm, Olive Garden.

/New Yorker, born and raised
 
2013-07-15 07:02:37 AM  

wildcardjack: I'd like to build a purposely quiet business lunch restaurant.


High-backed booths...maybe even curtains, and call buttons for the waiters for those patrons doing serious bidness.
 
2013-07-15 07:03:29 AM  
yeldaba.files.wordpress.com

IS IT BECAUSE I AM GOING OUT MORE OFTEN?  I CAN'T HELP IT.  I WAS BORN THIS WAY.
 
2013-07-15 07:04:21 AM  
I went to the local Five Guys and the radio playing was so loud I'm having to yell my order the cashier two feet in front of me. I went back a second time some weeks later and it was the same deal. Is this a thing? It's cool it was Sirius Classic Vinyl but I couldn't work there let alone bother to go back.
 
2013-07-15 08:32:33 AM  

swaxhog: I went to the local Five Guys and the radio playing was so loud I'm having to yell my order the cashier two feet in front of me. I went back a second time some weeks later and it was the same deal. Is this a thing? It's cool it was Sirius Classic Vinyl but I couldn't work there let alone bother to go back.




I thought it was a Florida thing. Whenever a restaurant opens down here it is immediately packed for weeks then dies off.
 
2013-07-15 09:06:23 AM  
If a restaurant is cold it means they want you in and out as well.

My wife and I went to a semi expensive place a few years ago and it was so loud we just about couldn't have a conversation.  We've never been back.
 
2013-07-15 09:17:18 AM  
This is why my favorite place to eat is an old man pub with great pastrami sandwiches. I get delicious food and the other patrons are all guys who haven't wanted to say a word in 20 years.
 
2013-07-15 09:37:34 AM  
Sounds like the non chain restaurants are imitating the casual chains, the chili's, the Outbacks, the Fuddruckers and what not
 
2013-07-15 09:38:58 AM  

LemSkroob: Summary:

Remove: carpeting, ceiling tiles, tablecloths, window treatments, and leather booths

Add: Glass, steel, concrete, wood, exposed pipes, and bare bulb fixtures.


Gee, i wonder why it sounds louder.


you forgot tile on the walls

There's an asian fusion place near my house that is incredibly loud inside due to the music levels, and the fact that almost all the walls are either glass or have tile on them
 
2013-07-15 09:41:43 AM  
HIPSTER DOUCHEBAG FOODIE TYPING DETECTED.

I gave up after 2 paragraphis.
 
2013-07-15 09:46:05 AM  
quatchi: Wait restaurants are actually getting louder? I thought I was just getting older and grumpier.

Someone once told me that it is done deliberately to make the old people quick turns and free up tables for the young hipsters.
 
2013-07-15 09:56:00 AM  
I remember the first time I ate in a Cheesecake Factory, all I could think about how freakin' loud it was inside. I realized a number of things:

1) Diners were crammed into every square foot of space that could be afforded. In fact, I feel like we had to keep apologizing with our neighbors if anyone needed to get up to use the restroom, because our tables were so close together.
2) Ridiculously high ceilings that were open to reveal mostly what I thought was faux pipe/duct work.

I can't understand why they design their restaurants that way. Also, wtf is up with the Egyptian theme that seems to be going on inside? If there's one thing I don't associate cheesecake with, it's Egypt.
 
2013-07-15 09:56:39 AM  
We get a lot of new restaurants, indie and chain, in Omaha, and I've noticed this trend with both. They have bare wood tables, tiled floors, no curtains or blinds on the windows, and exposed, high ceilings. We were at this new place in Benson, and although small I could barely hear my wife. I hate it. If you sit people down and feed them alcohol, they're going to get chatty, and sticking them in an echo chamber is a horrible idea.
 
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